What Is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological condition that 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's 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 after, between or 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 is 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 the patient for epilepsy. Neurological Wellness is the first and only clinic in Waukesha County to offer such sophisticated technology (Trex HD Ambulatory Video EEG) to diagnose and treat patients with epilepsy .
Epilepsy is usually treated with medications to prevent seizures from occurring. Approximately 70 percent of patients will respond to drug therapy. Neurological Wellness Clinic carefully selects the best and safest anti-seizure medication to control your epilepsy. Ideally, only one medication is necessary but it may take multiple medications to control the seizures.
As a clinical Neurophysiologist/Epileptologist, Dr Jochims has extensive experience in EEG monitoring. He may also use a Vagal Nerve Stimulator to control your epilepsy. After the 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's 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.
Being diagnosed with a seizure disorder can be frightening but you should know that you're not alone!
Dr. Jochims will accurately diagnose your particular type of disorder and customize a treatment plan to help you manage your seizures.