Accurate Diagnosis of Seizure Conditions Using State-of-the-Art Technology

In order to determine the best and most effective treatment plan for an individual with epilepsy, fast and accurate diagnosis is essential. At University Hospitals Neurological Institute’s Epilepsy Center, our experts achieve this by employing a variety of technologically advanced tests and evaluations, including electroencephalography (EEG), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) and SPECT imaging.

EEG Provides Reliable Brain Activity Monitoring

An EEG is used to record electrical or brain wave activity. The results can often be used to detect the disturbed brain electrical activity that causes epilepsy. An EEG can also illuminate the specific seizure type, which is vital to developing an effective treatment strategy.

For patients with medication-resistant seizures, prolonged recordings in the highly specialized Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) may be needed.

After a patient undergoes an EEG test, reports are read and interpreted by board-eligible or board-certified neurophysiologists and are available within 24 hours.

Epilepsy Monitoring Unit Provides Comfortable Testing for Patients

Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

The Epilepsy Center has a six-bed unit dedicated exclusively to adults, along with a five-bed pediatric unit. These units provide 24/7 inpatient EEG-video monitoring. The data collected helps the team classify seizures, evaluate seizure triggers, test new antiepileptic drug therapies and localize the brain origin of seizure for effective epilepsy surgery.

Inpatient EEG-video monitoring has been shown to detect previously undiagnosed seizures in up to 20 percent of patients. The average hospital stay in the EEG monitoring unit is five to seven days. Patients are typically monitored long enough to record at least three seizures. The following video will help you prepare for your stay in our Epilepsy Monitoring Unit as you undergo an EEG-video monitoring procedure to help physicians understand and treat your seizures.

Electroneurodiagnostic (END) Lab Enables Complete Testing of Brain Activity

This unit provides comprehensive testing of the electrical activity of the brain and nervous systems. It is equipped with EEG, continuous EEG-video monitoring and evoked potentials testing, which measures the brain’s response to stimulation.

Specialized Equipment for Exceptionally Accurate Testing

Other technical advances offered by the Epilepsy Center include:

  • Specialized magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment: includes 4-Tesla MRI and specialized neuroimaging sequences that provide pictures with much higher resolution to detect formerly hidden lesions
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scans: show how the brain tissues are functioning in real-time
  • Ictal-SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) scans: provide information on dynamic changes in blood flow in the area of the brain where seizures originate
  • Intracarotid amobarbital testing: pre-surgery tests to ensure that language and memory functions in the brain are not placed at risk during surgery
  • Intraoperative monitoring: tracking evoked potentials and other neurophysiologic parameters during surgery to guide the surgeon and prevent nervous system damage

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