Friday, October 29, 2010

Client News: Trinity Mother Frances Opens Epilepsy Center

Source: Trinity Mother Frances Press Release

TYLER, TX -- Officials with Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics announced the opening of the region's only continuous inpatient monitoring unit, The Trinity Mother Frances Epilepsy Center, located at Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler.

Officials said the Center provides comprehensive care for patients with seizure disorders, offering inpatient and outpatient diagnostic testing capabilities, medication management, inpatient monitoring and surgical procedure options to treat epilepsy.

"For patients with epilepsy and seizure disorders, everyday life is anything but ordinary," said Ashley Lesniewski, Program Coordinator. "Helping you get your life back to normal is the first priority we have at The Epilepsy Center. Continuous monitoring helps the medical team to localize your seizures so that an individualized treatment plan can be formulated. We are excited to be able to offer this new facility to our patients."

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, epilepsy is a medical condition that produces seizures affecting a variety of mental and physical functions, but it is also called a seizure disorder. When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, they are considered to have epilepsy. A seizure happens when a brief, strong surge of electrical activity affects part or all of the brain.

The World Health Organization estimates that 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy.

About the TMF Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

Using state-of-the-art technology in a specialized environment, the Trinity Mother Frances Epilepsy Monitoring Unit provides 24-hour continuous video electroencephalographic (EEG) monitoring under controlled conditions to assess seizure activity. The six-bed inpatient unit is not only comfortable but also equipped for the patient’s caregiver to stay in the room with them. The team of caregivers, including specialized nursing staff and neurodiagnostic technologists, work with the patient’s neurologist to ensure that the experience is positive and the patient’s needs are met.

The purpose of inpatient monitoring may include:

· Establishing the diagnosis of epilepsy, separating it from other intermittent non-epileptic events that mimic epilepsy
· Differentiating seizure types
· Localizing the brain region of seizure onset
· Determining seizure frequency
· Identifying candidates for surgical treatment options

Information gathered from seizure activity is analyzed by the physician so that an individualized treatment plan can be developed.

Epilepsy Treatment Options

The main treatment options for epilepsy include medication, surgical procedure options, vagus nerve stimulation and for some patients, the ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet is primarily used in children with epilepsy and is a high fat diet, low on carbohydrates and is thought to reduce seizures.

There are numerous medications on the market used to treat epilepsy and all have different benefits and side effects.

A complete evaluation by a specially trained physician can help determine the best medication for each individual patient.

A patient who does not respond well to medication alone may be a candidate for surgery. For patients suffering from partial seizures, a surgical procedure can be performed to remove damaged tissue in the brain, or the area of the brain tissue where seizures begin. Trinity Mother Frances surgeons use specialized techniques to ensure that important brain functions are not adversely affected.

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is also used to treat partial seizures and may reduce seizure frequency and intensity in some patients. The vagus nerve stimulator is surgically implanted under the skin near the collarbone. The stimulator sends weak signals to the vagus nerve in the neck and to the brain to help control seizure activity.

To schedule an appointment with a Trinity Mother Frances Neuroscience Institute physician, call (903) 525-7995 or (877) 233-0018. For more information, visit

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