Level 4 Epilepsy Center
The VCU Epilepsy Center is designated as a Level 4 Epilepsy Center by the NAEC. A Level 4 Epilepsy Center by definition from the NAEC - "A fourth level center should provide the more complex forms of intensive neurodiagnostics monitoring, as well as more extensive medical, neuropsychological, and psychosocial treatment. Fourth-level centers also offer a complete evaluation for epilepsy, surgery, including intracranial electrodes, and provide a broad range of surgical procedures for epilepsy."
Our team of physicians will provide a full evaluation for both adults and children with epilepsy. We will review previous records and perform our own neurological history and physical examination.
Epilepsy Monitoring Unit
The Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) here at VCU is a specialized five-bed inpatient unit at VCU designed to evaluate, diagnose, and treat seizures in patients of all ages.
Dense Array EEG
The VCU Epilepsy Center is one of the few programs which uses Dense Array EEG. The dense array method gathers brain activity data from many more electrodes than conventional EEG products (up to 256), generating more information to help in localization. For more information go to EGI.
Functional MRI and Pet Scan
The VCU Epilepsy Center in conjunction with the VCU Nuclear Medicine and Neuroradiology departments offer Functional MRI imaging which is is used to detect or measure changes in metabolism, blood flow, regional chemical composition and absorption to assist in management and pre-surgical planning.
At VCU Epilepsy Center we have experienced neuropsychologists who perform comprehensive neuropsychological assessment, which play a major role in assessing cognitive risks in patients being considered for epilepsy surgery.
Epilepsy surgery is an option for some patient's with epilepsy, which involves a procedure that either removes or isolates the area of brain where the seizures originate. Some cases are amenable to Laser Ablation.
Some cases for epilepsy surgery may undergo Wada testing. The Wada test is used to determine which side of the brain controls language function and helps to asses memory function.
Certain Cases May Not be amenable to Resective Procedures, other options involve:
Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS Therapy®) is designed to prevent seizures by sending regular, mild pulses of electrical energy to the brain via the vagus nerve. These pulses are supplied by a device something like a pacemaker. The stimulation can help to prevent the seizure. For more information please go to VNS.
Response Nerve Stimulation (NeuroPace® and RNS®) is a system that continuously monitors electrical activity in the brain, detects patient-specific patterns, and delivers brief pulses of stimulation when it detects activity that could lead to a seizure. The stimulation can help to prevent the seizure before it happens. For more information please go to NeuroPace.