Treating the Toughest Cases of Depression and Brain Illness

John Hughes M.D. Ph.D

John Hughes, M.D., Ph.D
John Hughes, M.D., Ph.D

Retired, January 2021

John Hughes, M.D., Ph.D is Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago. He retired after serving the fields of epileptology and clinical neurophysiology for over 60 years. While a Neurologist he had significant interest in Psychiatry and an abiding belief that psychiatric disorders are brain-based and that the electroencephalogram (EEG) as well as related fields like event-related potentials (ERPs), polysomnography (sleep studies) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) will all eventually play major roles in understanding the neuropathology underlying psychiatric disorders. For 28 years, he was Director of the Epilepsy Center, and of Clinical Neurophysiology at the University of Illinois Medical Center.

Dr. Hughes obtained his Ph.D in neurophysiology from Oxford University and then joined the Northwestern University Medical School. He completed the medical school in only three years. After a year of training, he began practicing the art and science of clinical neurophysiology and rapidly became a world leading authority on EEG. He was trained by another Chicagoan Frederick Gibbs who is the true father of Clinical EEG. 

Nationally and internationally recognized as a preeminent expert in EEG, he is the author of over 500 papers and chapters and of numerous books. These include major contributions to the epileptiform patterns of seizures, developmental changes in EEG, traumatic brain injury and behavioral disorders. Among his many books, EEG and Evoked Potentials in Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurology & EEG in Clinical Practice influenced many clinicians world wide and remain two of the most important references for EEG when it comes to psychiatric settings.

He has numerous positions in professional organizations, including, Editor of the Journal of Electroencephalography, Board of Directors and Editorial Board of Clinical EEG. Recipient of numerous awards, including the 2000 ECNS (EEG and Clinical Neuroscience Society) career award. Indeed, he was one of the founding members of the ECNS. He has repeatedly testified before the US-Congress regarding the meaning of EEG changes, particularly regarding behavior. His most famous case was when he identified an unusual pattern (RMTD) in Jack Ruby’s EEG. Dr. Hughes reviewed and analyzed the EEG’s recorded at The Neuroscience Center from 1996 Through 2020.

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