Dizziness and Balance Center
Epilepsy Tests & Diagnosis
Anti-Epileptic Drug Therapies
Anti-epileptic drugs can control seizures completely in more than two-thirds of epilepsy patients. In many cases, an epilepsy specialist must make adjustments to standard drug regimens in order to achieve complete seizure control.
Some patients may want to participate in clinical trials of investigational anti-epileptic drugs at the Emory Epilepsy Center. The Center also offers expertise with patient groups that typically experience special problems with these medications, such as pregnant women, children with learning or behavioral problems, and the elderly.
When patients with certain types of epilepsy cannot be cured with medications, epilepsy surgery is often the best chance of seizure control or potential cure. At the Emory Epilepsy Center, a variety of highly specialized surgical techniques are available to patients. Our epilepsy neurosurgeons are highly skilled and experienced, with excellent patient outcomes. New, state of the art techniques such as stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) allow the epilepsy team to locate the origin of a patient’s seizures in the brain without a traditional open brain procedure. This technique is safer and less painful for patients. Additionally, minimally invasive laser ablation surgery can be performed to remove the seizure focus, with excellent outcomes. Traditional procedures such as open resections, corpus callosotomy, and hemispherectomy are also performed at the Emory Epilepsy Center.
Vagus Nerve Stimulation
The Emory Epilepsy Center has expertise with this procedure, which is designed to block seizure-producing electrical activity in the brain via stimulation of the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve stimulator is an excellent alternative for patients who have medically refractory seizures but are not surgical candidates.
NeuroPace/Responsive Neurostimulation (RNS)
The RNS Neurostimulator is a small, battery powered device surgically implanted in the skull. Electrodes placed over the seizure focus detect seizures and deliver a small pulse of stimulation to prevent the seizure before it happens. RNS is an excellent alternative for patients who have medically refractory seizures but are not candidates for resective surgery; i.e., patients with more than one seizure focus, or patients whose seizure focus is an area of the brain that cannot be removed.
Rehabilitative (Neuropsychological) Services
Our center also offers psychological services to help manage decreased memory, attention, or problem solving associated with chronic epilepsy. Specific services include:
- Neuropsychological assessment to help identify the parts of the brain that are involved in generating seizures and to detect decreases in memory, attention, problem solving, and other mental abilities associated with epilepsy or epilepsy surgery.
- Specialized testing for patients who are candidates for surgery. This specialized testing includes the “Wada test,” a procedure that helps determine the risk to memory and language function after epilepsy surgery. Cortical mapping, another specialized procedure, is also performed by the neuropsychologist and the epilepsy doctor. This procedure helps map the function of brain areas prior to surgery, to ensure that no permanent neurologic damage is done.
- Cognitive rehabilitation to assist patients in learning to compensate for problems in memory, attention, and reasoning so that patients may work and live up to their full potential.
- BRITS program – this is a specialized treatment program for patients with psychogenic nonepileptic spells. Trained therapists perform cognitive behavioral therapy geared specifically toward these patients with the goal of identifying the cause and preventing future spells.
How Can We Help You Today?
Need help? We will be delighted to assist you today, so please call us at 404-778-7777. We look forward to hearing from you.