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Epilepsy

 

The Epilepsy Center at Allegheny Health Network is one of the largest referral centers in the tri-state area of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia with physicians who are nationally renowned epilepsy experts.

We provide adults and adolescents with advanced monitoring and extensive medical, neuropsychological and psychosocial treatment, as well as the most cutting-edge treatment options and clinical trials available today.

The AHN Epilepsy Center is recognized as a Level 4 Surgical Comprehensive Epilepsy Center by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers – the highest distinction for epilepsy diagnosis and treatment. We unite experts from neurology, neurosurgery, neuroradiology, psychology and social services for the most comprehensive, individualized care that addresses all of our patients’ needs.

Our state-of-the-art Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, located at Allegheny General Hospital, feature sophisticated technology to aid in quickly and efficiently diagnosing epilepsy. The four-bed unit offers patients optimal comfort with private rooms, each equipped with leading-edge video electroencephalography (EEG) technology that records a patient’s behavior and electrical activity. The unit features a centralized station adjacent to the patients’ rooms from where physicians and EEG technicians observe each patient’s video EEG activity around the clock. Inpatient monitoring also facilitates diagnosis by allowing patients to reduce or eliminate antiepileptic drugs during their stay in a safe and controlled environment.

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes people to have recurring seizures. The seizures happen when clusters of nerve cells, or neurons, in the brain send out the wrong signals. People may have strange sensations and emotions or behave strangely, or they may have violent muscle spasms or lose consciousness. Epilepsy has many possible causes, including illness, brain injury and abnormal brain development, but in many cases, the cause is unknown.

Common causes of epilepsy include:

  • Stroke
  • Dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Infections, including brain abscess, meningitis, encephalitis and AIDS
  • Brain problems that are present at birth (congenital brain defects)
  • Brain injury that occurs during or near birth
  • Metabolism disorders present at birth (such as phenylketonuria)
  • Brain tumors
  • Abnormal blood vessels in the brain
  • Other illness that damage or destroy brain tissue
  • Use of certain medications and illegal drugs

 

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