Epilepsy Treatment from Drexel Neurosciences Institute
A seizure is caused by a brief strong surge in electrical activity in the brain, which affects part or all of the person's body. When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, he or she is considered to have epilepsy. Learn more about epilepsy.
The Drexel Neurosciences Institute has a comprehensive epilepsy program with a team of dedicated epileptologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, neuroradiologists, nurses, and EEG technicians who expertly treat patients with epilepsy in the Philadelphia area. Drexel's epilepsy program features:
- Inpatient epilepsy monitoring unit with video and EEG monitoring
- MRI, SPECT and PET scanning
- Neuropsychological testing
- Wada testing
An electroencephalogram measures and records the electrical activity of the neurons in the brain. It is used in the diagnosis and follow-up of epilepsy to determine if a patient is having seizures and to evaluate problems with memory and level of consciousness.
During an EEG, 21 electrodes are placed on the brain with a conductive gel. The electrodes are connected to the EEG equipment which amplifies the brain's activity. Brain activity is recorded for 20 minutes.
Ambulatory EEG (AEEG)
Ambulatory EEG (AEEG) is a continuous recording of brain activity for 72 hours or more. The test is similar to EEG, but patients are given a portable device to record activity and they can go about their normal activities at home. AEEG is done when conventional EEG testing has been inconclusive.
Inpatient Video EEG Monitoring
When routine EEGs have been inconclusive, a patient can be admitted to our inpatient epilepsy monitoring unit. Video and EEG data are collected for 72 hours or more, if needed. Drexel neurologists use this close monitoring to "catch" seizure activity and to correlate it with outwardly observed behaviors.
A neuropsychological evaluation consists of paper-and-pencil or computerized tests that are used to determine brain function. Intelligence, memory, language function, and overall function are usually evaluated to see if there is an indication of loss of ability due to epilepsy.
Neuropsychological tests are administered privately with an examiner in a quiet office environment, free from distractions. This allows for an evaluation of a person at their highest level of concentration.
Medications are usually the first treatment for epilepsy and there are many options available. The type of medicine that is prescribed depends on the kind of epilepsy the person has. Seizure patients who fail to respond to medicine therapy are offered surgical options including the placement of a vagus nerve stimulator.
Ongoing Epilepsy Research
Drexel's epilepsy program is involved in various clinical research studies related to epilepsy.
Drexel's Epilepsy Treatment Team
The information on these pages is provided for general information only and should not be used for diagnosis or treatment, or as a substitute for consultation with a physician or health care professional. If you have specific questions or concerns about your health, you should consult your health care professional.