Neurosciences Institute

Epilepsy & seizures

Home Services Neurology & Neurosurgery Epilepsy & seizures

If you have epilepsy, you need a plan for taking back your self-confidence

Seizures can strike without warning, at any time or place. The uncertainty can take away your self-confidence and your sense of well-being. At Novant Health, our experts will put their training and resources to work to help you feel safe again.

Seizures happen when electrical activity in the brain surges. An episode can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. Each seizure can affect part or all of the brain.
The severity of your symptoms can vary, ranging from blank stares or jerking of the arms or legs to convulsions or a loss of consciousness. Sometimes, you may not realize this is happening.

Diagnosis and treatment

Epilepsy may be diagnosed if you have one seizure that is not caused by a reversible medical condition. Seizures may be related to a family history or brain injury. However, this is not always the case.

It is challenging to treat epilepsy because each person’s condition is unique, like our fingerprints. You may also react differently to treatment. Detailed testing may be necessary to develop a personalized care plan.

At Novant Health, we offer the latest treatments and our programs are certified by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers to meet the highest standards. This means you have convenient access to some of the area’s most complete testing, treatment and monitoring. If you have epilepsy or experience seizures, you may benefit from an evaluation in one of our world-class epilepsy centers.

Inpatient stays and monitoring

An inpatient stay may be right for you if:

  • Your provider needs more testing to determine whether you have epilepsy or another condition.
  • You are unsure of your symptoms or have not been able to track them.
  • You have not been helped by medications and other treatments in the past.

Monitoring may help us make a diagnosis and create a detailed treatment plan for you. We take a broad approach in caring for you. Your team includes:

  • Neurologists with special training in epilepsy
  • Neurosurgeons with special training in epilepsy-related surgeries
  • Neuropharmacologists

Are there any risks to being evaluated?

There is some risk when you have medical testing. Our goal is to see what happens when you have a seizure. This will help us decide on the best treatments for you.

Because we need to observe your seizures, we might need to lower your medication. Doing this could cause a seizure that lasts longer than 10 minutes. The chance that this condition will happen is very low. Testing equipment also creates risks. The EEG uses electrodes to measure brain activity and function. Because the electrodes need a small amount of glue to stay in place, there is a slight chance of hair loss, itching, redness or an infection. These risks are low, and our team is prepared to care for you. Make sure you discuss these risks with your epilepsy specialist.

You may visit your provider’s office for EEG tests, or you may be able to take home a portable machine for convenience and comfort, depending on your condition. Talk with your provider about options for at-home monitoring.

Once we have a better understanding of your condition, our team can develop a plan to stop or reduce your seizures. Options include medication, brain surgery or vagus nerve stimulation therapy, in which a device is placed in your chest to lower the number of seizures.

Make an appointment with a Novant Health epilepsy expert for you or a loved one today.