Inpatient Epilepsy Monitoring

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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.