Epilepsy

Beaumont offers one of the most comprehensive diagnostic and treatment programs for epilepsy in the state of Michigan. 

Our inpatient epilepsy monitoring units use EEG monitoring, along with video cameras, to track seizures and determine exactly where they begin in the brain. This allows Beaumont epilepsy specialists to plan effective treatment, which may include surgery.

What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a disorder of the nervous system, characterized by seizures that range from mild, episodic loss of attention or sleepiness to severe convulsions with loss of consciousness.

Epilepsy disorder is caused by a sudden, excessive, electrical discharge of cerebral neurons. More than two-thirds of all epilepsy disorder begins in childhood, when seizures can have drastic and devastating results on the child's psyche and development. Surgical treatment is highly effective in the treatment of many of the epilepsies that have not responded to medical therapy. Nearly 40 percent of children with partial epilepsy are candidates for surgical therapy.

Surgical Treatment of Epilepsy

If seizures are found to originate in specific areas of the brain, the patient may be a candidate for cortical resection surgery. In this surgical treatment of epilepsy, the function associated with these areas is mapped, then the seizure foci are removed, sparing the important areas. These epilepsy surgeries are curative of seizures in 90 percent of cases.

One of the latest epilepsy treatment procedures is implanting of a type of pacemaker called a vagus nerve stimulator. These devices diminish the frequency and severity of seizures in patients who are not candidates for cortical resection. The vagus nerve stimulator is placed in the upper chest below the left collarbone. It is connected to a wire that leads to a nerve in the neck. The device stimulates automatically and periodically throughout the day and night and help improve a patient's quality of life.

The Beaumont epilepsy clinic also offers Gamma Knife® treatment, an innovative stereotactic radiation treatment that is beginning to be used to treat epilepsy seizures.