Helping People in Wisconsin to Live Seizure-Free
Epileptic seizures can wreak havoc on day-to-day life activities like work, social life, even the ability to drive, but it has economic ramifications as well. It's a costly disease resulting in an estimated $15.5 billion in medical costs and lost or reduced earnings and production every year. That’s why the CORRECT epilepsy treatment is so vitally important and why choosing Aurora Health Care and its vast resources makes all the difference.
Treating Epilepsy: Medications
We believe the first line of epilepsy treatment is the use of anti-seizure medication along with close monitoring to assess seizure control and possible medical side affects. If seizures continue or disabling side affects occur, a second medication is usually tried. Half of all epilepsy patients are successfully treated with medications.
If subsequent medications fail, this option is bypassed as any other medications stand very little chance of working. A common misconception is that if a patient’s seizures have decreased in number or severity, their medication is successful.
This is not true.
If any seizures occur while taking medication, other treatment options should be explored.
Additionally, Aurora is trying new drug therapies. Our team of physicians participate in the study of nearly all FDA approved anti-seizure medications, including new anticonvulsant agents that may offer hope to patients with seizures that are particularly difficult to control.
When Epilepsy Medications Fail
When it is determined that epilepsy medications are not going to work, the Aurora Regional Epilepsy Center physicians conduct additional tests before pursuing other epilepsy treatment options. In-patient testing may be used and includes 24-hour video monitoring and measurement of brainwave activity and Wada testing. While under the close supervision of the Center’s team, patient’s medications are decreased. Then, when seizure activity occurs, an EEG can help the point of origin within the brain. Video of the test helps the team better analyze the physical effects of the seizure.
Other options besides epilepsy medications are:
Vagus nerve stimulator (VNS): This alternative to surgery is essentially a "pacemaker for the brain." The device is implanted under the skin and electrodes are wrapped around the vagus nerve. An electrical shock is delivered to the nerve throughout the day to control or stop seizures.
Epilepsy surgery: The advanced operative techniques and improved brain mapping available today make surgery a safe, effective option that can help patients return to their normal lives.
Learn more about Aurora Health Care’s epilepsy care and epilepsy treatments at the Aurora Regional Epilepsy Center. Call 414-385-8780.
Find a neurological care doctor. Call 888-863-5502.