Epilepsy is a neurological condition in which clusters of nerve cells in the brain sometimes signal abnormally. The brain disturbance often causes strange sensations, emotions, and behaviors or sometimes convulsions, muscle spasms, and loss of consciousness.
Dedicated to Comprehensive Care
WellSpan Epilepsy Center has been designated a Level 4 Center by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC). Our dedicated multidisciplinary team of physicians and healthcare professionals understands the impact seizures have on life and developed a program that offers the latest in diagnostic services and treatments. In response to valuable feedback received from people with epilepsy, we incorporated such components as vocational counseling, educationally based support groups, school education, public awareness and work site education. Our comprehensive treatment approach benefits not only the patient, but the patient's family and our community.
Led by fellowship trained epileptologists, the WellSpan Epilepsy Center provides a full range of diagnostic services, including all the services necessary for a complete epilepsy work-up. Our neurodiagnostic lab is staffed with technicians that are certified by the American Board of EEG Technology (ABRET).
While routine EEG is the most common diagnostic procedure and is sufficient for most patients, we also offer ambulatory and long tem video EEG monitoring for patients who have uncontrolled seizures. These tests help to locate the area of the brain where seizures begin. This information is then used to provide an accurate diagnosis and classification of the seizure type.
The WellSpan Epilepsy Center offers the following services:
- Long-term inpatient video EEG
- Routine and ambulatory EEG
- Brain mapping to correctly diagnose seizures and underlying causes
- Neuropsychological evaluation
- New antiepileptic drugs
- Vagal nerve stimulation
- Ketogenic diet & other alternative diet therapies
- Interactive and proactive care planning
- Neurosurgical treatments
- Education, counseling and job placement
Since most patients will achieve seizure control through medication, the epileptologist will work closely with area pharmacists to provide access to the most appropriate antiepileptic drugs. Our goal is not only to reduce the number of seizures but to also limit the side effects of antiepileptic drugs that an individual might experience.
Dietary modification, one of the oldest forms of epilepsy therapy, can be used to treat individuals with refractory or difficult to control seizures or who are unable to tolerate medications. The best example of this type of therapy is the ketogenic diet, a treatment used primarily in children with refractory epilepsy. There are other dietary therapy alternatives which are better tolerated by older children and adults who may find the restrictiveness of the ketogenic diet too challenging. Dietary therapy requires a team approach. It is individualized to the patient by the neurology team. While not for everyone, dietary therapy can offer hope to individuals with difficult to control seizures. About 35 percent of patients have seizures despite medication usage. These people require more invasive options such as surgery to achieve seizure control.
Surgical Treatment Options
About 35 percent of patients have seizures despite medication usage. These people require more invasive options such as surgery to achieve seizure control.
Vagal nerve stimulation is a minimally invasive procedure that involves implanting a small device, similar to a cardiac pacemaker, to deliver intermittent electrical impulses to the vagus nerve in the neck. These impulses then travel to brain centers, and subsequently reduce seizures.
Brain surgery is another option used to reduce or eliminate seizures. Patients who are surgical candidates require extensive pre-surgical testing that can be done at WellSpan. Brain surgery is performed at WellSpan York Hospital by a fellowship-trained neurosurgeon.
Our team partners with the Epilepsy Foundation of Central PA to provide the education and support services that are so important to patients with epilepsy. We offer quarterly epilepsy 101 class as well as support groups. To get more information, contact the program coordinator directly 717-851-4585.