UW Health neurosurgeons in Madison, Wisconsin, offer comprehensive treatment for epilepsy, a neurological condition that manifests in seizures.
What is epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological condition that produces temporary disturbances in the normal functions of the brain.
Brain function is made possible by tiny electrical charges that pass between nerves in the brain to areas of the body. When someone has epilepsy, these charges are interrupted and temporarily affect a person's consciousness, bodily movements and/or sensations.
These changes are called seizures. They can affect a small, limited area of the brain or they can occur at once throughout the entire brain. When seizures reoccur, whether in a small area or in the whole brain, the condition is known as epilepsy.
Diagnostics and Treatments
UW Health's Comprehensive Epilepsy Program offers state of the art diagnostics and treatment for surgical and non-surgical management:
- Non-operative management of epilepsy may include anti-epileptic medications
- Diagnostic studies are available at the UW Hospital, including:
- Electroencephalography (EEG)
- Head CT or MRI scan
- Positron emission tomography (PET)
- Magnetoencephalography (MEG)
Non-surgical treatment can include anti-epileptic medications. Surgical options include:
- Vagal nerve surgery to decrease seizure focus from the brain
- Open surgical treatment to monitor and remove seizure focus from the brain
- Deep brain stimulation to modify seizure potential
Additional Treatments, Programs and Services
- Characterization, classification and quantification of seizures
- Instruction to patients and their families about the psychological and social burden associated with epilepsy
- Seizure control with anti-epileptic medication, while at the same time trying to avoid the negative side effects of these medications
- Multidisciplinary team advice for difficult cases where medication doesn't fully work; may advise surgical therapy
Evaluation for Surgery Therapy
Patients with seizures not controlled by anti-epileptic drugs may be evaluated for vagal nerve stimulator or surgery to remove a seizure focus from the brain.
Evaluation of each patient for epilepsy surgery is a cooperative effort by a team of specialists (i.e., surgeon, neuroradiologist, neuropsychologist, epilepsy neurologist), the referring physician, patients and their family.