Epilepsy Service

patient

Our Epilepsy Service is widely recognised as one of the top services in the UK having led pioneering treatments for the VNS implant and the ketogenic diet.

The Epilepsy Team evaluate and provide ongoing care for children with seizure disorders from infants through to 19 years of age.

Aims

We aim to provide a prompt, comprehensive, specialist service for young people with epilepsy thereby ensuring that their individual needs are met. Treatment plans are individually tailored for all patients and are designed to enable each young person to fulfill their potential.

We aim to empower our patients and their families by providing as much information as we can about epilepsy and the different treatment options. We are committed to clear diagnostic evaluation and the effective management of all types of seizure disorders. The epilepsy team meet formally once a month to review complex cases, share information and discuss new findings.

The wider team

  • neurologists
  • epilepsy nurse specialists
  • neuroradiologists
  • neurophysiologists
  • neurosurgeons
  • neuropsychologists

Caring for the whole child is paramount and an accurate diagnosis must be made and an appropriate treatment plan put in place.

This can only be done by understanding all of the other medical, psychological, social and educational issues that are involved in order that the child can thrive. The NICE guidelines state that to achieve good epilepsy care all children with suspected epilepsy are referred to a neurologist with suitable expertise.

Diagnostic services

  • complete seizure history plus a comprehensive neurological examination
  • neurophysiological tests (routine EEG, ambulatory recordings, sleep deprived recordings
  • long-term video-EEG monitoring (scalp and intracranial)
  • neuroimaging: 3TMRI, MRS, SPECT studies

Treatment options

Pharmacological management

The use of appropriate anti-convulsant medications at therapeutic doses to control seizures without significant side effects.

Ketogenic Diet Treatment

Our Epilepsy Service is widely recognised as one of the top services in the UK having led pioneering treatments, including the ketogenic diet (KD). KD is very high in fat, adequate in protein (to allow for growth) and low in carbohydrate. KD is carefully calculated for each individual child. It has been shown to improve seizure control in patients with drug resistant epilepsy, and is used in some patients with metabolic conditions.

We have been treating patients with KD since 2010 when we received funding to set up a specialist KD service. We have recently received funding from The Daisy Garland (UK registered charity) to expand our service further. Our team consists of our dedicated lead consultant Dr Archana Desurkar, two specialist dietitians and a specialist epilepsy nurse. We also have a pharmacist with an interest in KD.

Resective epilepsy surgery

We have a well established epilepsy surgery programme. Suitable children undergo full multidisciplinary assessments prior to resective surgery. The aim of resective surgery for epilepsy is to remove or disconnect regions of the brain that are responsible for seizures whilst protecting functionally important tissue.

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS)

We are the leading paediatric centre for Vagus Nerve Stimulation in the UK. VNS does not involve brain surgery; a small device (rather like a pacemaker) is surgically implanted below the skin on the upper chest. The device delivers a small electrical current to the vagus nerve in the neck; this impulse continues up the nerve to the brain. We have found that vagus nerve stimulator can be helpful for children who are unsuitable for reseactive surgery and who have failed on several anti epileptic medications.

New treatments

Patients may be eligible to enroll in clinical studies that test new medications and new surgical approaches involving brain stimulation.

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