Neurosciences Institute

Epilepsy monitoring units

If you have epilepsy, you need a personalized plan of care

Seizures happen because of surges of electrical activity in the brain. These surges can affect certain areas of the brain or they can affect all of the brain. They can last from a few seconds to a few minutes; symptoms can range from blank stares or jerking of the arms or legs to violent convulsions or a loss of consciousness. Often, if you have a seizure, you may not even realize it is happening. If you have seizures on a regular basis, you have epilepsy.

One challenge presented by epilepsy is that you may not always have the same symptoms and the severity of your symptoms may vary. You may also react differently to each type of treatment, so having a personalized plan of care is important.

Novant Health provides convenient access to some of the area’s most complete testing, treatment and monitoring centers for epilepsy. If you suffer from epilepsy or seizures, you may benefit from an evaluation in one of our world-class epilepsy monitoring units.

Our epilepsy monitoring units (EMU) are some of the most complete testing, treatment and monitoring centers in the nation. An inpatient stay in one of these units may be right for you if:

  • You have just been diagnosed with epilepsy for the first time.
  • 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 in an EMU may make your diagnosis more clear and help your care team create a treatment plan just for you. Our units are staffed by experts who take a holistic approach to your care, including:

  • Neurologists with special training in epilepsy (epileptologists)
  • Primary care physicians
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists/counselors
  • Epilepsy nurses
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) technicians
  • Social workers

Together, these talented clinicians and professionals work to help you enjoy a better quality of life.

Are there any risks to being evaluated?

When you have any medical testing, there is some risk. Our goal for this testing is to be able to see what happens when you have a seizure. This will help your physician determine the best treatment for you.

Because we need to observe your seizures, we might need to help you have a seizure. This means there is a chance that you might hurt yourself. We might need to lower your medication in order to make your seizure happen. Doing this could cause a prolonged seizure called status epilepticus – a seizure that lasts longer than 5 to 10 minutes. The chance that this will happen is very low. Because the electrodes need a small amount of glue to stay in place, you may have some hair loss, itching, redness or an infection.

These risks are very small. We are prepared for them in case they happen and our team is here to support and care for you. Make sure you review all risks with your regular physician and your epilepsy physician.

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

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