It may take more than a clinic visit to properly diagnose your epilepsy. Staying in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) gives us the time to:
- Diagnose why you're having seizures
- Determine the type of seizures you're having to decide proper medication
- Modify medication because of toxicity concerns or continued seizures
- Find the exact location and cause of seizures within your brain to determine if you are a candidate for surgery
How We Monitor Epilepsy
During a hospital stay we may perform tests including:
- Video electroencephalograph (EEG) monitoring to help our doctors get a clear picture of the patient's illness. An EEG records the electric pulses of the brain by using wire-like electrodes attached to your scalp; we can then observe your episodes using both EEG and video.
- Scans to take images of your brain using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or a computed tomography (CT) scan
- Scans to record your brain's electric pulses and to measure how much blood is going to different areas of your brain (EEG and SPECT or single photon emission tomography)
- Neuro-ophthalmologic visual field testing examines possible links between your epilepsy and any eye problems
- Neuro-psychological testing to examine IQ, memory and speech, helping us learn where your seizures start
We may also conduct certain social and educational assessments, if needed.
How Long Will I Stay in the Hospital?
Testing may take up to a week, even if your insurance only approves one day at a time.
Learn about our EEG and Evoked Potential Lab.
Meeting Your Needs in the EMU
We offer a range of special services to make your visit as comfortable as possible. Ask your provider for more information about the EMU.