Comprehensive Epilepsy Treatment
There is new hope for patients with epilepsy. The Nebraska Medical Center comprehensive epilepsy program is recognized by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers with the highest level of distinction. The program includes a comprehensive monitoring, advanced diagnostic equipment and sophisticated technology as treatments of epilepsy and the most complex seizure disorders.
To qualify as a level four designated epilepsy center, the hospital provides the most complex forms of intensive evaluation, medical options and a broad range of surgical procedures for epilepsy treatment.
The first approach to care is the medical management and treatment for epilepsy which includes:
- Review of current medications
- Prescribing new medication
- Routine Electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring
- Possible Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Nearly one third of all seizures are resistant to medications. If seizures continue, the second approach to treating epilepsy includes long-term video Electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring, to determine if a patient is a candidate for surgery.
When an epilepsy patient qualifies as a surgical candidate, more testing is performed in order to specifically localize the area of the brain causing seizure. The following tests and procedures are typically performed.
- Magnetoencephalography (MEG) scans are for patients deemed suitable for surgical treatment of epilepsy. It is one of the most advanced diagnostic tools available and gives doctors increased ability to identify where the brain is malfunctioning.
- Neuropsychological testing is performed on patients who are deemed to be surgical candidates. The test is performed by neuropsychologists to evaluate brain function.
- Wada procedure
The surgical treatments of epilepsy available to each patient depend on the particular case. The goal of surgery is to disrupt or remove the brain circuits that are responsible for seizures while persevering as much brain tissue as possible in an effort to protect speech, language, memory and movement.
A single stage surgery is most common in temporal lobe epilepsy. In this case, it is usually clear which area of the brain needs to be removed.
A two stage surgery involves an operation to first place electrodes or a grid on the brain, close the skull and monitor the patient for two to three days. During this time, the patient’s seizures are monitored and mapped. The second surgery performed removes the area of the brain which has been pin-pointed as the area causing seizures.
Vagal nerve stimulation is also available and involves implanting a small device which sends frequent electrical impulses to the brain with the goal of controlling the number of seizures a patient experiences. The device is small and functions in the same manner a pacemaker would.
The medical center uses a multidisciplinary approach to care to determine the best and most complete course of treatment for each patient. Under the leadership of Deepak Madhavan, MD, the comprehensive epilepsy program is able to offer diagnostic and treatment options unique to The Nebraska Medical Center.
The collected expertise available at the medical center includes:
- Dedicated nurse case managers
- Registered EEG technologists
- Registered dieticians
For further support services and advocacy contact Lifestyle Innovations For Epilepsy, Inc. at www.epilepsylife.org
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