Our epilepsy specialists work to help you manage your disease and identify the most effective course of treatment. Typically, the first treatment will be one of the many FDA approved anti-epileptic medicines.
If you do not respond to seizure medication and continue to have seizures, we offer other treatment options such as presurgical evaluation and vagus nerve stimulation. We strive to help all patients live seizure-free, even those with refractory epilepsy or those who continue to have seizures after trying multiple treatments.
If you do not respond to seizure medications you may benefit from epilepsy surgery, which provides freedom from seizures for up to 80% of patients. Our neurologists and epilepsy specialists can perform a comprehensive presurgical evaluation. Presurgical evaluations usually include:
- Detailed history and physical examination
- EEG-video monitoring
- Special MRI scans
- PET scan
- Neuropsychological testing
- Wada test
- Ictal SPECT scan
- Functional MRI (fMRI) scans
In some instances, electrode grids are implanted over the brain. Electrical stimulation of these electrodes helps localize functions in the brain that need to be preserved during surgery.
Vagus Nerve Stimulation
Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is a surgical treatment where a small device is surgically implanted under the skin, over the chest or in the armpit. This flat, round device is about the size of a pocket watch. The device generates electrical impulses that are delivered to the vagus nerve in the neck, which then indirectly affects the brain.
UAMS offers this procedure for adults and children over the age of 12 who have partial seizures that are resistant to medications. Since this procedure rarely stops seizures completely, it is offered mainly when brain surgery is not an option.