Epilepsy remains the second most common neurologic condition to impact children and pediatric epilepsy surgery can play an important role for those who don’t respond to medication. Families with a child who suffers from epilepsy that is not controlled with medication are advised to undergo a comprehensive evaluation at a comprehensive center like Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children (BRHC). The Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) at BRHC is the only American Epilepsy Center (AEC) level 4 programs for children in the state of Alabama and only one of 4 for children in the Southeastern US. As such it is home to the comprehensive multi-disciplinary program with Pediatric Neurology that offers complete medical and surgical care for children with epilepsy. Pediatric epilepsy surgery can be pursued with greater safety and effectiveness than at any time in the past and the number of children that can be helped continues to expand.
The EMU has 10 beds in the Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children that are hard wired with dual camera high resolution, infra-red, digital video-EEG systems. We have on campus imaging capability for ictal-SPECT, SISCOM, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Magnetoencephalography (MEG). Pediatric neurologists who medically manage large numbers of seizure patients and pediatric epileptologists coordinate monitoring and localization epilepsy. A board certified pediatric neuropsychologist is on the epilepsy team. Surgical Planning Conference meets every other week and a full range of operative services including hemispherectomy, grid based resections, corpus callosotomy, lobectomy and vagus nerve stimulator implantation are all available. Each child with epilepsy is individually evaluated, discussed and managed to optimize their outcome and minimize their risk exposure.
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