Epilepsy and Seizure Evaluation and Treatment
When you come to us for epilepsy treatment, you can rest assured that your care is in the hands of experts. Whether it’s your first seizure or you’re seeking relief after years of uncontrolled seizures, our team can help.
At Henry Ford Health, we understand that getting an accurate diagnosis is key to successful treatment for seizures. Our team has decades of experience in finding the underlying causes of seizures and tailoring a care plan with the right treatments for you.
Comprehensive care for epilepsy and seizures
Our Comprehensive Epilepsy Center is among the top centers in the country for patient care and research in epilepsy and seizures. Our team provides:
- Extensive evaluation: We take extra time to get to know you and listen to your concerns. Understanding what you’re experiencing helps us decide on the tests you need and the right treatment.
- Accurate diagnosis: After we evaluate you, we review our findings to come to a consensus for a firm diagnosis. Our team brings together their expertise from several fields of medicine in weekly conferences to discuss patient cases. Learn more about the epilepsy team.
- Newest treatments: We offer all the latest, most advanced treatments for seizures and epilepsy. No matter which type of seizure or epilepsy you have, we have options to help you live a full, active life.
Evaluation and diagnosis for epilepsy and seizures.
We take a multidisciplinary approach to evaluate people with epilepsy and seizures. Our goal is to confirm an accurate diagnosis and rule out other conditions to decide on the right treatment.
We begin with a physical exam, ask you about symptoms and review your personal and family medical history. Our doctors spend time with you to make sure we fully understand what you’re experiencing.
Diagnostic testing for epilepsy and seizures
Some tests that we frequently recommend include:
- Blood tests: We test small samples of your blood to rule out other conditions.
- Neurologic exam: We evaluate how well your nervous system is functioning by testing your behavior, muscle movements, mental function and other factors.
- Neuropsychological test: This testing assesses a wide range of cognitive (thinking) and behavioral functions. The series of tests evaluates memory, attention, concentration, language, problem-solving and other functions.
Other tests can help us evaluate brain function and check for various problems that can be signs of epilepsy:
- Electroencephalography (EEG): This test involves electrodes (small metal discs) attached to your head to record your brain’s electrical activity. At Henry Ford, we offer 6-hour outpatient EEG to record your brain activity while you’re awake and asleep. A longer test provides us with more details to help guide diagnosis and treatment. In our epilepsy monitoring unit, we offer video EEG for a more complete picture of what you’re experiencing. Learn more about our epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU), where we monitor you over several days to two weeks.
- Intracranial electrode recording: We place electrodes in or on the brain to record electrical activity to see where seizures begin and identify areas of critical brain function. In some procedures, we use robotic equipment to precisely place the electrodes. Find out more about these epilepsy surgery procedures.
- Magnetoencephalography (MEG) scan: This technique measures the magnetic fields caused by brain activity to identify areas where seizures may begin. Read about magnetoencephalography (MEG) scans.
- Wada test: Also called intracarotid amobarbital procedure (IAP), this test helps determine how surgery may affect your speech or memory. A Wada test helps us choose an approach that effectively treats seizures while preserving healthy brain tissue.
- Visual field test: This test measures your peripheral (side) vision, which can be affected by epilepsy surgery.
Diagnostic imaging for epilepsy and seizures
Brain imaging can show areas where seizures start or signs of other conditions that might be causing seizures. Some types of imaging we use include:
- Computed tomography (CT) scans: Specialized X-ray equipment produces cross-sectional images of the brain. CT scans can show problems such as brain bleeding or tumors.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): A machine that uses radio waves and powerful magnets produces detailed images of the brain. We use high-resolution MRI in several ways to assess the brain.
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scans: After injecting a small amount of a radioactive substance, we take special scans to look for areas where seizures start.
- PET/CT scans: Combining PET and CT scans provides greater detail of the brain’s anatomy to better show areas where seizures start.
- Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scans: This scan also uses an injection of a small amount of a radioactive substance to show blood flow in the brain during seizures.
Treatment for epilepsy and seizures
At the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, our team has experience built through decades of caring for people with even the most complex seizures. Our doctors, surgeons and other care providers offer all the latest options to treat epilepsy and reduce seizures.
Find out more about epilepsy and seizure treatments including:
- Epilepsy medications
- Epilepsy surgery, including deep brain stimulation (DBS)
- Pediatric epilepsy care
At Henry Ford, our epilepsy specialists have pioneered breakthrough research on treatments that are now standard care. Through clinical trials, you have access to the latest treatments before they’re available to the public. Learn more about our epilepsy research.
Epilepsy patient stories
We’re dedicated to exceptional care that brings hope to our patients who have epilepsy and seizures. Read our patient stories to learn more about their experiences.