The Epilepsy Service offers comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services for patients with seizures and related disorders from first seizure events to surgical evaluation of seizure disorders. Detailed neuropsychological testing is available to ensure accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Services include inpatient and ambulatory long-term video-EEG monitoring (using digital technology with computer-assisted event detection), sophisticated MRI imaging and spectroscopy, and functional imaging using MRI, SPECT and PET scanning. A comprehensive epilepsy surgery program complements the latest medical therapy, including clinical trials of new drugs.
Additional services include second opinions, review of neuropathological and radtiographic materials, neurogenetic assessment, ketogenic diet program, and psychiatric evaluation
A referral letter outlining the issues allows us to optimize your visit. When you come for a consult, please bring all relevant medical records, films and EEGs (original data, not just reports), and a witness who can describe your events. If it is not possible for a witness to accompany you, please arrange for an individual who has seen your events to be available by telephone.
For more information please call the MGH Epilepsy Surgery Unit at 617-726-3311.
Why a First Seizure Clinic?
The modern approach to epilepsy relies heavily on electroclinical syndromic classification of individuals’ seizure disorders. Such an approach informs future decision making regarding therapeutic agents, prognosis, and appropriate intensity of follow-up. In modern practice, however, the syndromic approach is rarely applied to “first seizures”, in part, because patients seldom see epileptologists early in the course of their disease.
A Different Approach
The initial evaluation of first seizure patients may be inefficient due to the overuse of unnecessary tests such as CT scanning as well as the failure to optimize some tests that are performed such as MRI. Moreover, there are suggestions that the information yield of diagnostic testing, especially EEG, may be inversely proportional to the delay after an event in performing the test.
Early evaluation and testing may therefore allow more rapid optimization of treatment and improve patient satisfaction. In addition, the First Seizure Clinic is a unique resource for identifying patients early in the course of their illness who may be candidates for clinical trials of new diagnostic and treatment protocols.
Patients may be seen by either physician- or self-referral. Call 617-726-3311 and ask for an appointment in the First Seizure Clinic.
Our Nurse Coordinator will speak with you to determine whether evaluation in the First Seizure Clinic seems appropriate. In general patients can be seen within a few days and all necessary diagnostic testing can be arranged for the day of the visit.
Preparing for Your Appointment
Remember to bring copies of any medical records you have that relate to the event in question. It is also helpful to bring along a friend, co-worker, or family member who witnessed your event.
Second Opinion and Record Review
The MGH Epilepsy Service offers second opinion services to patients and physicians with complex neurological problems. Our goal is to work with patients and their local physicians to optimize diagnosis and care. We can provide opinions based on review of medical records, images and test data, or based on a comprehensive consultation including examination and discussion with the patient and family members