What is an epilepsy center?

An epilepsy center is a special unit in a clinic or hospital that provides comprehensive care for people with epilepsy and seizures. Epilepsy center specialists are experts in the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of epilepsy.

Epilepsy centers are accredited through an organization called the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. Accreditation helps ensure that an epilepsy center meets the criteria to deliver expert level care to people living with epilepsy.

Epilepsy centers are classified by NAEC as Level 3 and Level 4.  Level 4 centers offer epilepsy surgery.

Epilepsy centers provide the following comprehensive care:

Learn more about comprehensive epilepsy centers

Find an epilepsy center

What differences are there between an epilepsy center and a single epileptologist or neurologist?

Epilepsy centers are typically multi-disciplinary, meaning they have a coordinated team of experts in adult and pediatric epilepsy care, including:

  • Epileptologists (neurologists who specialize in epilepsy)
  • Nurses
  • Psychologists
  • Neurosurgeons who specialize in epilepsy
  • Neuroradiologists who specialize in brain imaging

With more than one epileptologist on staff, there is a team of experts available to discuss challenging cases. The availability of broad expertise and input from colleagues in the same specialty is not available in a single-epileptologist clinic.

A comprehensive epilepsy center:

  • Permits experts in multiple areas or disciplines to engage the person living with epilepsy and their caregivers
  • Maximizes interaction between colleagues with an interest in epilepsy
  • Facilitates coordination of care of people living with epilepsy and their families

Who will be a part of my epilepsy surgery team?

Your surgical epilepsy team will include epileptologists, neurosurgeons, nurse specialists, neuroradiologists, and neuropsychologists. They will carefully review your medical history, seizure history, medication trials, EEG recordings, imaging tests, and neuropsychological testing prior to talking with you and your family about surgery options. Learn about testing before surgery.

What is an epileptologist?

An epileptologist is a doctor who has trained in neurology (disorders of the brain) and also has additional training in diagnosing and treating people with epilepsy. An epileptologist has special expertise in treating people with anti-seizure medications, interpreting EEG testing, evaluating people for epilepsy surgery, and providing people with education and support.

 

What is an epilepsy nurse specialist?

An epilepsy nurse is a nurse who cares for people living with epilepsy and their families. They are an essential part of the epilepsy team as they provide medical care, education, and support for people with epilepsy.

What is a neurosurgeon?

A neurosurgeon is a surgeon who specializes in treating disorders of the brain and spinal cord. An epilepsy surgeon is a neurosurgeon who specializes in treating people with epilepsy.

What is a neuroradiologist?

A neuroradiologist is a doctor trained in radiology who specializes in creating and interpreting pictures of the brain and spinal cord. The pictures are produced using different forms of radiation, such as x-rays, sound waves, or other types of energy. Neuroradiologists report on MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computed tomography), SPECT (single-proton emission computed tomography), PET (positron emission tomography), fMRI (functional MRI), and MRS (spectroscopy) scans.

What is a neuropsychologist?

A neuropsychologist is a psychologist who specializes in understanding the relationship between the physical brain and an individual’s behavior, cognition (thinking), memory, and attention.

What is a neuropsychiatrist?

A neuropsychiatrist specializes in treating people with neurological disorders. They are important members of an epilepsy team. They can help identify and treat changes in behavior or mood that may be due to epilepsy, medicines, or other mental health problems.

Authored By: 
Gregory D. Cascino MD
Jeffrey W. Britton MD
Elaine Kiriakopoulos MD, MSc
Authored Date: 
10/2018
Reviewed By: 
Mohamad Koubeissi MD
Sandra Dewar RN, MS
on: 
Tuesday, October 16, 2018