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Largest, Most Advanced EEG Laboratory and Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

Each year more than 375 adults and children are admitted to the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) at VCU Medical Center. This state-of-the-art unit is specially designed to allow our neurological specialists the ability to better evaluate, diagnose and treat seizures in people of all ages. The Epilepsy Monitoring Unit is one of the few programs that uses dense array electroencephalogram (EEG). This type of EEG uses many more electrodes than conventional EEG to measure brain activity. Additionally, our center uses Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), a noninvasive test, to assist in seizure management and pre-surgical planning.

Level 4 Accreditation by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers

Our EEG laboratory and Epilepsy Monitoring Unit is the largest and most advanced in the region and has been given a Level 4 accreditation by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. Our EMG laboratory is also accredited by the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM), one of only a few in the state of Virginia.

Preventing Seizures Before They Happen

When surgery is the best course of treatment for seizures, our leading surgeons can either remove or isolate the area of the brain that causes seizures, using the following procedures:

  • Laser ablation: A highly effective option that removes material from the brain’s surface by laser.  
  • Response nerve stimulation (NeuroPace® and RNS®): 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. 
  • Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS Therapy®): 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.