Treating Patients with Epilepsy: When to Refer to an Epileptologist
In the past, people with recurring seizures often suffered their entire lives. Today, we can control most seizure cases with appropriate medication and cure others through surgery. That is why it is important to consider referring seizure patients to an epileptologist. Being treated by a specialist in the field provides individuals with the most effective and advanced treatment options.
University Hospitals Neurological Institute Epilepsy Center Referral Methods
Call our Physician Advice Line to receive immediate decision-making advice from the Epilepsy Center team of experts at 216-844-1001.
When is an Epileptologist Needed?
An epileptologist is a neurologist who specializes in epilepsy treatment. These specialists perform brain wave tests to analyze brain functioning and prescribe medications to help patients manage their symptoms. Epileptologists often prescribe anticonvulsant medications and schedule regular checkups with their patients to monitor symptoms. They also provide information on how people can reduce their risk of having seizures and what family members can do to prevent injury in the event of an epileptic fit. In the case of severe epilepsy that does not respond to medications, the epileptologist works collaboratively with radiologists, neuropsychologists, psychiatrists and neurosurgeons to design a potentially curative surgical approach.
An epileptologist is an invaluable resource to patients and physicians when one of the following occurs:
- A patient continues to have seizures despite having tried one epilepsy medication at maximum dose
- A patient has partial or complex partial epilepsy
- A patient has made multiple emergency room (ER) visits for seizures
- A patient has multiple seizure types or more than one episode of long-lasting seizures, which are those lasting longer than 30 minutes