Epilepsy Treatment

Epilepsy Treatment

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Duke offers comprehensive epilepsy treatment to reduce or eliminate seizures. Although medications control seizures in many people with epilepsy, you may require more advanced care if your seizures remain uncontrolled, if you are experiencing unwanted side effects from medications, or if you have other concerns.

As a Level 4 Epilepsy Center, we are recognized by the  National Association of Epilepsy Centers for providing the highest level of diagnosis, treatment, and surgical options, which we customize for you. Our goal is to maximize your quality of life and control your seizures.

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Our Locations
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.

With You at Every Step

Regardless of where you are in your journey with epilepsy, we’re here to help with your next step.

Evaluation and Diagnosis
Our epileptologists perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine what is causing your seizures, where in your brain seizures begin, and which epilepsy treatment is right for you.

Non-Surgical Treatment
Many people are able to control their seizures with medication. Seizure frequency and severity can also be reduced by changing aspects of your daily life, like your work schedule, sleep habits, or diet.

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Surgery
People with seizures that are not controlled with medications (called intractable, refractory, or uncontrolled epilepsy) may, after evaluation by neurologists, be recommended for epilepsy surgery. Our neurosurgeons use advanced techniques to pinpoint and address your seizure focus -- the area in your brain where seizures begin -- and how it spreads through your brain. Surgical procedures are chosen to directly eliminate the source of seizure activity, or to reduce the initiation and spread of seizures. Other types of surgeries using brain stimulation techniques may be appropriate for you as well.

Living with Epilepsy
We stick with you even after treatment to make sure you’re getting results. If you don’t live close to Duke, we can coordinate follow-up care with your local doctors to get you home faster.

Why Choose Duke

Comprehensive Care
Our experienced epilepsy specialists include epileptologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, neuropsychologists, mental health providers, social workers, health care practitioners, researchers, and technologists. Our team meets weekly to discuss people with uncontrolled seizures who have had a comprehensive evaluation to determine the best course of action. 

Technology Designed for Safety
Duke University Hospital's epilepsy and neuro-intensive-care units have an electroencephalogram (EEG) machine and video-recording capabilities in every room. This allows our staff to monitor your brain’s electrical activity 24 hours a day. In addition, we have two operating rooms equipped with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to assist with the most complex procedures. This allows surgeons to see your brain in intricate detail in real time.

Need a Second Opinion?

Our experts can review your records and contact you to discuss an effective treatment plan. Please call 919-385-3223, and our patient navigator will help make arrangements for your second opinion.

Patient Navigators
From even before your initial appointment, our dedicated patient navigators will personally guide you through outpatient testing, inpatient monitoring, surgery, and beyond. You can contact them directly with questions any time during business hours.

Women with Epilepsy Program
Women with epilepsy have unique needs. Epilepsy and seizure medications can affect hormone levels, menstruation, fertility, birth control, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. Our experts will discuss these issues and how to mitigate them.

Mental Health Support
People with epilepsy may experience anxiety, depression, and memory and concentration problems. Neuropsychologists will meet with you to talk about these concerns and how to address them.

Level 4 Epilepsy Center
As a Level 4 Epilepsy Center, Duke Health provides the highest level of diagnosis, medical and surgical treatments for people with epilepsy. It is one of the reasons why Duke University Hospital is nationally ranked in neurology and neurosurgery and ranked first in North Carolina by U.S. News & World Report.

Clinical Research
Duke neuroscientists study all aspects of epilepsy, from why it happens to how to prevent and treat it. You may be eligible to participate in clinical trials and receive experimental diagnostic or treatment methods before they are widely available.

Support Groups
Because epilepsy is a common neurological disease, there is a large community of people who understand what you’re going through. Making local connections can help you learn from others with similar experiences.

Reviewed: 07/12/2019