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Once a diagnosis has been made, a treatment plan is developed based on the patient’s personal needs. The first step is, however, to confirm the seizure diagnosis, as a number of patients may have episodes that are not due to epilepsy. If the diagnosis of epilepsy is confirmed, we frequently start by prescribing anti-epileptic drugs, either alone or in combination, because most patients respond to medication. The most common anti-epileptic drugs include carbamazepine, valproate or phenytoin, and we also utilize the very latest medications. We also participate in clinical research trials of new medications for seizures. When medications prove ineffective, we can offer a range of other therapies, such as:

Vagus nerve stimulation, in which a battery-powered device, implanted in the chest and attached to the vagus nerve in the lower neck, delivers short jolts of electrical energy to the brain, thereby decreasing the frequency of seizures.

Ketogenic diet, a medically supervised diet high in fats and low in carbohydrates that has been shown to reduce epileptic episodes in children.

Surgery, performed when a lesion, tumor or seizure focus of the brain has been identified as the cause of a patient’s seizures and can be removed.

Today most people with epilepsy lead productive, normal lives, with the vast majority controlling seizures and other symptoms with medications alone. Many also are benefiting from special diets and surgical interventions. As researchers continue to introduce advanced diagnostics and new drugs and therapies, those living with epilepsy will be able to further minimize the detrimental effects of their illness and will experience an enhanced quality of life. Our epilepsy services strive to help realize these goals.