The moment when you are first diagnosed with a seizure disorder, such as epilepsy, can be a frightening moment for many patients. However you should know you are not alone. Dr. Jochims will use his neurology / neurophysiology expertise to accurately diagnosis your particular type of seizure disorder and will customize a treatment plan to help you manage your seizures and give you the confidence to take back control over your life. Common treatment options for seizures include seizure medications, lifestyle changes, a vagal nerve stimulator, and/or surgery.
WHAT IS EPILEPSY?
Epilepsy is a neurological condition which affects the brain and is characterized by seizures. A seizure occurs when there is an abnormally large and synchronized level of abnormal electrical activity in the brain.
There are many different types of seizures and while some result in several minutes of involuntary movements, others are hardly noticeable. It is important for the neurologist to determine where in the brain the abnormal electrical activity is occurring. This helps the doctor better treat your epilepsy.
HOW DO WE DIAGNOSE EPILEPSY?
One step in establishing a diagnosis of epilepsy is to record and analyze the electrical activity in the brain either after or between seizures or actually during a seizure. This recording may take place in a hospital or clinic, or the patient may be provided with an ambulatory recorder to wear for a few days at a time while they go about their regular routines. Such an approach can improve the chances of capturing a seizure. Routine EEG testing are initially performed to evaluate the patient's brain typically between seizures. More precise and accurate testing with a video EEG monitor may be necessary to further evaluate patient for epilepsy. NWC is the first and only clinic in Waukesha county to offer patients such sophisticated technology to diagnose and help treat patients with Epilepsy (Trex HD ambulatory Video EEG).
Epilepsy is usually treated with medications to prevent seizures from occurring and about 70 percent of patients will respond to drug therapy.
NWC carefully selects the best and safest anti-seizure medication to control your epilepsy. Ideally, only one medication is necessary but may take multiple medications to control the seizure.
As a clinical Neurophysiologist/Epileptologist, Dr Jochims has extensive experience in EEG monitoring. He may also use a nerve stimulator to control your epilepsy(Vagal Nerve stimulator). After the Vagus nerve stimulator is implanted by a neurosurgeon, Dr Jochims will adjust the stimulator to better control your epilepsy.
Surgery is another option for those that don't respond to medication and may be preferable in some cases even for those that do respond to drugs. It is important that surgery is always considered for patients with intractable epilepsy failing all the above treatments. Only a trained Neurologist with strong clinical neurophysiology experience can evaluate for possible brain surgery.