Epilepsy is a long-term brain disease in which the nerve cells don’t signal properly. This abnormal electrical activity of damaged brain cells causes seizures. Seizures can cause changes in behavior, awareness, muscle control, emotions, and sensations.
Epilepsy can’t be cured, but there are many treatments available which allow lots of people with epilepsy to manage the disease. The Epilepsy Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi offers comprehensive and specialized care for individuals living with epilepsy, providing them with the latest advances in epilepsy diagnosis and treatment.
Advanced Technology in Epilepsy Management
The program uses advanced diagnostic tools to accurately diagnose and classify epilepsy, including:
- Electroencephalography (EEG): This measures the brain’s electrical activity, looking for abnormal electrical patterns that may be related to seizures.
- Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU): State-of-the-art technology is used to evaluate patients for epilepsy, classify types of seizures and their location, determine the frequency, type and nature of a patient's seizure episodes and identify between epileptic disorders and non-epileptic mechanisms. By monitoring the brain activity via EEG and recording body movement of patients continuously (day and night), doctors can ensure they are providing the most accurate diagnosis and best treatment plan.
- Brain mapping: Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and nuclear imaging techniques to look for things like infections, tumors or abnormalities of blood vessels.
Traditional treatment options for people diagnosed with epilepsy include:
- Dietary recommendations
- Medication management: Anti-seizure medications can often control seizures in many patients. There are many types available, and your doctor will work with you to find the one that works best for you, depending on factors such as seizure type, response to previous medications, your age, overall health and more.
- Surgical interventions: If medication isn’t working, and seizures are severe, surgery may be recommended. Interventions include removal of abnormal tissue (resection), disconnection of nerve fibers in the brain, destroying areas of abnormal tissue (stereotactic radiosurgery) and implantation of a device which sends electrical signals to the brain to reduce seizures (neuromodulation devices).
Advanced technologies available at the Epilepsy Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi include:
- Ictal SPECT and SISCOM imaging techniques: These high-resolution imaging tools allow doctors to measure blood flow in the brain (cerebral blood flow) and determine how this flow changes with seizure activity.
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans: PET scans provide detailed images of brain function by detecting the distribution of radiotracers. This helps in assisting in the localization of abnormal brain activity in epilepsy patients and allows doctors to identify the area of the brain where seizures may arise.
- Voxel Based Morphometry (VBM): This is a neuroimaging technique that looks at focal differences in the brain. It quantifies structural brain changes by comparing the density or volume of brain regions in individuals with epilepsy to those without, helping to identify structural abnormalities associated with the condition.
- Functional MRI with diffusion tensor imaging (DTI): Combining functional MRI with DTI, the test measures water molecule diffusion and its directionality. It allows doctors to visualize both brain activity and white matter connectivity, offering insights into how epilepsy affects brain networks and functions.
- Electrical Source Imaging (ESI): This is an advanced neuroimaging method that localizes the source of abnormal electrical activity in the brain, helping to identify the seizure focus and plan surgical interventions for epilepsy patients.
In addition to advanced treatment options, the Epilepsy Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi offers comprehensive support services. This includes educational resources, counseling, and support groups to enhance the overall well-being of patients and their families.
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This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, part of Mubadala Healthcare, and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.