Fax: (608) 262-5543 (neurology records)
Patients must have referral from their primary care physician or local neurologist.
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The comprehensive epilepsy program at UW Hospital and Clinics offers state-of-the-art care for patients with epilepsy or those suspected of having seizures.
Our program is designated a Level 4 Epilepsy Center (the highest rating) by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. We serve patients of all ages, and are composed of neurologists who are epilepsy specialists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists and epilepsy pharmacists. Neuroimaging faculty for PET and functional MRI (fMRI) complete the list of professional staff for our epilepsy program.
What is epilepsy?
Epilepsy is an electrical disturbance of the brain that results in repeated seizures (abnormal electric signals to the brain). Seizures can last a few seconds or minutes and often consist of convulsions or lost consciousness, sometimes resulting in difficulties with communications and uncharacteristic or disorganized movements.
What causes epileptic seizures?
The cause of epileptic seizures is often unknown but some sources may include:
- Brain injury (perhaps caused by trauma or stroke)
- Drug use
- Brain tumors
Types of Seizures
Seizures take many forms and depend on the part of the brain affected. Seizures are classfiied as:
- Generalized: including absence, atonic, tonic-clonic and myoclonic; effect both sides of the brain
- Partial: including simple and complex; limited to one side of the brain
- Nonepileptic: similar to epileptic seizures but not caused by electrical disruptions to the brain
- Status epilepticus: prolonged or repeated seizures
- Electroencephalography (EEG): 24-hour sleep-deprived EEG or inpatient video EEG monitoring
- Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sodium amytal test/WADA test
- Neuropsychological testing
UW Health's neurology program emphasizes patient quality-of-life when considering treatment options. We strive to establish treatments that involve the least medication and result in the fewest seizures. Potential treatment options include:
- Epilepsy surgery evaluation (for potential temporal lobectomy)
- Surgery, including Vagus nerve stimulation
- Clinical trials, including NeuroPace pacemaker, an implant that provides responsive neural stimulation (RNS) to the brain