Compassionate, Patient-Centered Care for Children with Epilepsy
The Epilepsy Center at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital provides innovative, individualized care for even the most complex seizure disorders. Accredited by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers as a Comprehensive Level IV Pediatric Epilepsy Center, our center strives to provide each patient with a fast, accurate diagnosis; access to the most advanced and innovative treatments; compassionate, family-centered care; and a greatly improved quality of life.
Call to Schedule an Appointment TodayTo schedule an appointment with a UH Rainbow pediatric epileptologist, call 216-844-6644.
Signs and Symptoms of a Seizure Disorder
There are many different types of seizures disorders, not all of which are epilepsy. Some have easily recognized symptoms while others don’t have any obvious outward signs at all. Because early intervention is extremely important in the successful treatment of epilepsy, parents should schedule an evaluation with a UH Rainbow epileptologist if they observe any of the following symptoms in their child:
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- Becoming unresponsive for short periods of time
- Changes in behavior and personality
- Changes in vision and/or speech
- Clumsiness or falling for no reason
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Learning difficulties
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Persistent head nodding
- Prolonged staring or rapid eye blinking
- Tremors or stiffening of the body
All of these symptoms can also be signs of other disorders so it is important to seek professional help to determine the cause and whether or not they are epilepsy- or seizure-related. When you bring your child to the Epilepsy Center at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s, our specialists will conduct a comprehensive evaluation designed to either confirm an epilepsy diagnosis or find another condition that is causing the symptoms.
Comprehensive Testing to Ensure an Accurate Diagnosis
At the Pediatric Epilepsy Center at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, our experts use a variety of proven methods to treat young patients with seizure disorders. Because determining the right course of treatment is so important, our pediatric epilepsy team first conducts comprehensive diagnostic testing to determine the type of seizure disorder and each child’s unique needs to assist them in devising a personalized treatment plan. The diagnostic process will be as follows:
Each child will first be evaluated by a pediatric epileptologist, a physician who specializes in the care of children with epilepsy. In addition to taking a complete medical and family history, and asking about the type, duration and severity of the symptoms your child is experiencing, your specialist may order bloodwork, urine tests and one or more of the following diagnostic procedures:
- Electroencephalogram (EEG)
An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a painless, noninvasive medical test in which electrodes are applied to the scalp to measure the electrical activity of the brain. It is commonly used to help diagnose epilepsy in addition to other disorders. In some cases, a high density EEG may be ordered – this is a more powerful version of EEG that can track brain signals across much larger areas of the brain and can be useful for determining which area of the brain is causing the seizure activity.
- Video Electroencephalogram (Video EEG)
Video EEG is a diagnostic procedure in which the patient is recorded on video during an EEG. This allows the doctors to observe the patient’s behavior and physical experience during the test and compare it with the electrical activity in the brain, particularly during a seizure. A video EEG is usually done over several days in the hospital where it is safe to allow the patient to have some seizures.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a test that is ordered to study details of the formation and makeup of a certain body part and requires taking many pictures in a row in a certain sequence. An MRI shows the structure or the physical appearance of a body part.
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
A brain PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scan is a test used to study the way brain cells work. This is done by measuring the way in which a medical contrast substance is taken in and then processed. During this process, pictures of the brain are being taken in a certain sequence.
- Single Photon Emission Tomography (SPECT)
Ictal SPECT Scan (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography Scan) is a medical procedure that will measure changes in the blood flow of the brain both during a seizure and when the patient is not having a seizure. Pictures are taken and both types of images are examined and compared with the help of a computer.