Epilepsy Treatments

University Hospitals Offers a Wide Array of Epilepsy Treatment and Seizure Control Strategies

University Hospitals Neurological Institute Epilepsy Center in Cleveland, Ohio, offers a full range of leading procedures and treatments for patients suffering from epilepsy, including medication and surgery.

Since there are more than 30 types of epilepsy, as well as conditions that mimic epilepsy, our experts begin by evaluating patients using a range of state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques. Having an accurate diagnosis means our physicians can then determine the best course of treatment to meet each patient’s individual needs.

For those patients with seizure disorders, the University Hospitals Neurological Institute offers electroencephalography (EEG) testing.

Medication Therapy Offers an Alternative to Brain Surgery

Many people with epilepsy can be successfully treated with medication. More than a dozen epilepsy medications are available, and our epileptologists can devise a medication plan that is most likely to reduce a patient’s seizures with minimal side effects.

We are especially skilled in managing medication for individuals with unique risk factors and special circumstances. When treating female epileptics, for example, our team chooses medications that will not interfere with pregnancy, birth control, menopause, or bone health.

In addition to conventional therapies, patients may choose to receive alternative medications through the Epilepsy Center’s clinical trials.

Epilepsy Surgery May Provide Lasting Relief for Patients

Seizures that do not respond to medications can often be reduced or eliminated with surgery. Thanks to advances in accuracy and safety, a significantly larger percentage of epileptic patients are surgical candidates, compared to a generation ago.

Through careful testing, we identify the areas of the brain to avoid during surgery so that crucial functions are not damaged. This helps preserve the patient’s speech, sensory and cognitive abilities, and motor skills. Surgical options include:

  • Corpus callosum sections
  • Extratemporal lobe resections
  • Hemispherectomies
  • Lesionectomies
  • Multiple hippocampal transections
  • Hippocampal stimulation
  • Multiple subpial transections
  • Selective amygdalo-hippocampectomies
  • Stereo-electroencephalography (sEEG)
  • Temporal lobe resections
  • Vagal nerve stimulations

Epileptologists Coordinate Dynamic, Effective Treatments

It is important to consider referring seizure patients to an epileptologist for specialized epilepsy treatment. In the case of severe epilepsy that does not respond to medications, the epileptologist works collaboratively with radiologists, neuropsychologists, psychiatrists and neurosurgeons to design the most effective surgical approach.

The epileptologist is a valuable resource for patients and general practitioners who have had limited success controlling seizures. Examples of these situations may include:

  • When seizures continue after treatment with one epilepsy medication at the maximum dose
  • If partial or complex partial epilepsy is a factor
  • When the patient has have made multiple emergency room visits for seizures
  • If multiple seizure types are suspected
  • When the patient has experienced more than one episode of a long-lasting seizure (over 30 minutes)

Intra-operative Monitoring (IOM) Reveals Immediate Neurological Changes

Intra-operative monitoring capability provides comprehensive observation of patient responses during surgery, including evoked potentials and other neurophysiologic parameters to immediately identify changes in brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerve function prior to irreversible damage. Evoked potentials are electrical signals generated by the brain in response to different stimuli (mainly sight, sound and touch).

Intra-operative monitoring for epilepsy is effective in localizing anatomical structures, including peripheral nerves and the sensorimotor cortex. This enables the surgeons to accurately target problem areas and avoid damaging healthy tissue.

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