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Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders

Types of Seizure Disorders

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A seizure is a sudden surge of electricity in the brain. Seizures may be so mild they are barely noticeable, or severe enough to cause injury. Seizures may be caused by a number of things, including:
  • Birth injury
  • Brain tumor
  • Head injury
  • Infection
  • Stroke
  • Withdrawal from alcohol or drugs

If you’ve had two or more seizures, you might have epilepsy. This seizure disorder affects 5 to 10 % of Americans.

Epilepsy affects people of all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds. That’s why personalized treatment is so important. At Baystate, we strive for excellence in caring for all people with seizures.

Our Seizure Specialists

Baystate Medical Center is the only hospital in western Massachusetts with epileptologists on staff. These specialists subspecialize in the treatment of people with epilepsy. They work together with other experts to develop a comprehensive treatment plan to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Our team of seizure experts includes:

  • Epileptologists
  • Advanced practitioners
  • Clinical nurses
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) technologists
  • Neuropsychologists
  • Neuroradiologists
  • Neurosurgeons

Epilepsy Treatment

Medication is the primary treatment for epilepsy, but our team offers a full range of treatment options. We will work with you to develop a treatment plan that works best for you, including:

Treating First-Time Seizures

We see patients within a week of new onset seizures. These are people who’ve experienced a seizure for the first time. By evaluating patients quickly, we can provide the right evaluation and treatment.

If you have experienced a seizure for unknown reasons, our team of experts will help determine the cause of your seizure. We will get your complete history and perform a physical exam. If necessary, we will also set up additional testing that includes an EEG (electroencephalogram) and brain imaging, such as a CT scan or an MRI.

Treating Chronic Epileptic Seizures

We also provide care for people throughout the region who are referred here for acute or chronic difficult-to-treat epileptic seizures. We also routinely offer second opinions.

In addition to routine EEGs and 24-hour ambulatory EEGs, we provide intensive epilepsy monitoring in an inpatient setting. Epilepsy monitoring includes video-EEG (continuous, prolonged EEG recording along with video recording) for people undergoing pre-surgical evaluation. Video-EEG can also help us determine the cause if we’re not yet certain of your diagnosis.

Treating Special Populations

In our outpatient practice, Baystate Neurology in Springfield, we work to ensure proper care of special populations of people with epilepsy, such as women of childbearing age and the elderly.

For people with seizures that are not adequately controlled with medication (also known as medically refractory epilepsy), we provide surgical options, including excisional surgery and neural stimulators.

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