Advanced Care for Seizure Disorders
A seizure is a sudden and uncontrolled surge of electricity in the brain. These surges can cause intense symptoms, such as uncontrollable movements or loss of consciousness, or you may not even notice them. If you have two or more seizures at least 24 hours apart that aren’t brought on by a known cause, you could have epilepsy. This seizure disorder affects 5% to 10% of all Americans.
Seizures can affect anyone, and they can have significant effects on your quality of life without the proper care. Personalized treatment for seizures and epilepsy is important. That’s what you can expect from our neurology experts at Baystate Health.
Baystate Medical Center is the only hospital in western Massachusetts with epileptologists (neurologists who specialize in treating people with epilepsy) on staff. Along with our neuropsychologists, neuroradiologists and neurosurgeons, we’re here to provide the expert care you need.
What Causes Seizures?
Seizures can be caused by many conditions. Some of these include:
- Birth injuries
- Brain tumor
- Certain autoimmune disorders, including lupus and multiple sclerosis
- Certain viral or bacterial infections
- Head injuries
- High fever
- Lack of sleep
- Use or misuse of certain drugs or alcohol, including withdrawal from these substances
Diagnosing Epilepsy and Other Causes of Seizures
Our diagnostic process starts with a thorough physical exam and review of your symptoms and medical history. Your doctor may also recommend one or more tests to determine the cause of your seizures. These tests may include:
Learn more about our diagnostic options.
Our Epilepsy and Seizure Treatment Options
Once we’ve identified the cause of your seizures, you and your care team will work together to create a customized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs. Depending on your condition and symptoms, your treatment plan may include:
Medication: Epilepsy medications often play a key role in treatment.
- Specialized diet: A ketogenic diet, high in fat and low in carbohydrates, can help you better control seizures.
- Electrical stimulation: Our surgeons can implant devices to stimulate nerves or brain tissue to reduce or stop seizures.
- Brain surgery: This may be an option if you have medically refractory epilepsy, which means you don’t get enough benefit from medications and other approaches.
In addition to our comprehensive seizure and epilepsy care, we provide focused care to patients in special populations who have epilepsy in our outpatient practice at Baystate Neurology in Springfield. These special populations include women of childbearing age and older adults.