One of the Nation’s Top Epilepsy Centers
VCU Medical Center is designated as a Level 4 Epilepsy Center by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers, making us one of the top centers in the nation. We offer the most complex intensive neurodiagnostic monitoring, as well as extensive medical, neuropsychological and psychosocial treatment for patients of all ages.
Level 4 Epilepsy Center Offers Comprehensive Monitoring and Treatment
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes abnormal electrical activity in the brain resulting in recurrent seizures. About 40 million men, women and children worldwide suffer from epilepsy.
However, in many cases, the cause is unknown. We find that fact challenging. In the search of greater knowledge, our fellowship trained neurologists are unsurpassed in the region for the groundbreaking strides we are making in epilepsy diagnosis and innovative treatments.
Leading-Edge Team Provides Advanced Treatments
Our highly skilled team of neurologists and neurosurgeons are skilled and experienced in all facets of seizure disorders and offer patients the following:
- Brain mapping, including quantitative electroencephalogram (EEG)
- Cognitive risk evaluations prior to surgery
- Comprehensive neuropsychological assessments
- Intracranial electrodes
- Medically advanced surgical procedures
VCU Health is one of the few epilepsy programs that uses quantitative EEG, a highly-advanced method of brain mapping using algorithms to predict seizures. Additionally, our surgeons use NeuroPace, an FDA-approved device that involves the implantation of a battery-powered device — about a third of the size of an iPhone — into the skull. After the surgery, doctors use a programmer to non-invasively adjust the device’s settings to customize therapy for each person. Patients are also given a wand to wave over their head each night, which collects data from the brain that is uploaded onto a special laptop doctors can remotely access and monitor.
Comprehensive Care for Patients with Epilepsy
Patients at VCU Medical Center’s Epilepsy Monitoring Unit receive more than seizure treatment and management. They get the very best medical care from highly specialized and experienced clinicians that are dedicated to helping patients have the very highest quality of life. As a Level 4 center, we offer complete evaluation for epilepsy and surgery, including intracranial electrodes and provide a broad range of surgical procedures for epilepsy, including:
- Outpatient Evaluation: 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: Our Epilepsy Monitoring Unit is a specialized five-bed inpatient unit at VCU Medical Center designed to evaluate, diagnose and treat seizures in patients of all ages.
- Robotic Stereotactic Assistance (ROSA) system: We are the only center in the region that utilizes the innovative ROSA system that assists with electrode placement, therefore, cutting surgery time in half.
- NueroPace®: We perform the most NueroPace® implants in Virginia. This Response Nerve Stimulation (RNS) system significantly reduces seizures, with continued improvement over time. Patients also reported better cognitive function, quality of life and mood.
- Dense Array EEG: We are one of the few programs in the nation that uses Dense Array EEG. This patient-friendly procedure gathers brain activity data from many more electrodes than conventional EEG products (up to 256), generating more information to help in localization.
- Laser Thermal Ablation: We are one of the few centers in the nation to offer Laser Thermal Ablation – a cutting-edge laser surgery treatment for adult and pediatric epilepsy patients. A laser targets the abnormal brain tissue and destroys it with pinpoint accuracy.
- Dense Array EEG: We are one of the few programs that 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.
- Functional MRI and Pet Scan: Working together with our nuclear medicine and neuroradiology specialists, we offer Functional MRI imaging (fMRI) which is used to detect or measure changes in metabolism, blood flow, regional chemical composition and absorption to assist in management and pre-surgical planning.
- Neuropsychology: We have experienced neuropsychologists who perform comprehensive neuropsychological assessment, which plays a major role in assessing cognitive risks in patients being considered for epilepsy surgery.
- Epilepsy Surgery: Epilepsy surgery is an option for some patients with epilepsy. This surgery involves a procedure that either removes or isolates the area of brain where the seizures originate.
- Wada Testing: 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 assess memory function.
Make an Appointment with an Epilepsy Specialist
To see one of our epilepsy specialists, please call (804) 828-9350 to schedule your appointment, usually within a few weeks of your initial call. To refer a patient or to find out more about our services, please contact one of our team members in the Department of Neurology at (804) 828-9350.