Condition Control: Testing can help diagnose, treat epileptic seizures

View the latest issue of inHealth (PDF) (October 2, 2013) Epilepsy, a neurological condition in which a person has unpredictable, recurring seizures, is one of the most common disorders of the nervous system. Unfortunately, in some cases, seizures can be misdiagnosed and difficult to control.

Inova’s Epilepsy Monitoring Unit is a specialized inpatient unit that offers advanced studies to confirm or further assess an epilepsy diagnosis.

“We first monitor the patient for three to seven days,” explains James Leiphart, MD, PhD, FACS, FAANS, who specializes in epilepsy and seizure disorders. “We will conduct video monitoring to detect changes in behavior and activity, and electroencephalographic (EEG) monitoring to pick up changes in the patient’s brain activity. This happens in a controlled setting where patients feel comfortable and relaxed.”

There are several treatment options for seizures. Anti-epileptic or anti-convulsive drugs control seizures in about 60 percent of patients with epilepsy. Surgery may be the best option for about 40 percent of patients, who are not able to manage their disease with medication. Still other patients may benefit from vagus nerve stimulation, a minimally invasive procedure that aims to block the faulty brain messages that cause epileptic seizures.

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Click to see more news and articles from Inova Alexandria Hospital in the Summer / Fall 2013 issue of INhealth magazine:  Read more arrow

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