Dedicated Epilepsy Specialists
Catholic Health offers advanced testing and neuroimaging techniques to diagnose and treat epilepsy, the most common major neurological disorder that affects both adults and children. We also offer support groups for patients and their loved ones to help cope with a diagnosis and learn new skills to live healthy and full lives.
Our team at St. Charles Epilepsy (Port Jefferson, NY) are board-certified experts in neurology, neurophysiology, neuropsychology, neurosurgery and sleep medicine. They provide a complete evaluation to diagnose and treat epilepsy, seizure disorders and conditions that mimic seizures. St. Charles Epilepsy is a National Association of Epilepsy (NAEC) level 3 epilepsy center and an affiliate of the level 4 accredited New York University Comprehensive Epilepsy Center.
Surgery for Epilepsy
St. Charles Epilepsy offers surgical procedures, including minimally invasive, to treat epilepsy for patients who do not respond to medications or other therapies. Our neurologists will discuss the best surgical option for you based on your type of seizures and where they begin in the brain.
What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a chronic disorder of the brain characterized by an enduring predisposition to epileptic seizures and the cognitive, neurobiological, psychological and social consequences. An epileptic seizure occurs due to abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain.
Several conditions can mimic epilepsy in abnormal movements, sensations or loss of awareness but lack the electrical discharge in the brain. These are imitators of epilepsy.
Seizures fall into two categories:
- Generalized. A seizure that begins in both brain hemispheres (left/right) at the same time.
- Partial (focal)
- Simple partial seizures—with no alteration of consciousness or memory
- Complex partial seizures—with alteration of consciousness or memory
Epilepsy Testing and Imaging Procedures
An assessment of how your brain is functioning. It may involve an interview and testing.
Monitors your brain waves to detect unusual electrical activity that can lead to a seizure. It responds by giving small bursts or pulses of stimulation to help brainwaves return to normal.
Implanted devices are used to treat seizures for patients whose seizures are resistant to medications.
Computer-enhanced video-EEG (electroencephalogram) monitoring captures episodes that may be seizures or imitators of seizures.
The vagal nerve stimulator is a small device implanted under the skin on the left part of the chest. It connects through a wire to the vagus nerve in the neck. This device is programmed to deliver mild pulses of electrical energy at regular intervals to the areas of the brain that are associated with seizures. It can help prevent or lessen seizures.
The Wada test determines the side of the brain that controls language and how important each side of the brain is to memory. Information from your Wada test helps your epilepsy team decide how to treat your seizures while preserving the areas of your brain that affect speech and memory.
Epilepsy: Get the Facts
David Anschel, MD, Director of Clinical Neurophysiology & Epilepsy at St. Charles Hospital, answers commonly asked questions about epilepsy.