Epilepsy or other seizure disorders can be scary and life-altering. At Baptist Health, our specially trained physicians — epileptologists — work closely with you to find the correct diagnosis and develop a treatment plan so you can live a full and healthy life.

Our Approach to Epilepsy & Seizure Care

Our Approach to Epilepsy & Seizure Care

When you choose Baptist Health, you can expect:

  • Expert care at two nationally accredited epilepsy clinics — our Level 4 Epilepsy Center at Baptist Health Miami Neuroscience Institute in Miami-Dade County and our Level 3 Epilepsy Center at Marcus Neuroscience Institute in Palm Beach County
  • Access to the latest epilepsy diagnostic and treatment planning in one of our two state-of-the-art Epilepsy Monitoring Units
  • A team of experts working across disciplines and specialties to find the right treatment for you

What Is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a common neurological condition that causes frequent seizures. A seizure is uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain that can cause changes in movement, behavior, perception or consciousness.

Not all seizures are caused by epilepsy. Uncontrolled epilepsy or seizures can significantly impact your quality of life. They can even lead to long-term damage, behavioral changes or loss of certain physical functions.

Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders We Treat

The Baptist Health Brain & Spine Care team treats all forms of seizure disorders, including:

  • Epilepsy
  • Focal seizures
  • Generalized seizures
  • Grand mal seizures
  • Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy
  • Petit mal seizures
  • Post-traumatic epilepsy
  • Post-traumatic seizures
  • Simple partial seizures
  • Status epilepticus

How Is Epilepsy Diagnosed?

Getting the right care for epilepsy or seizures starts with the correct diagnosis. This begins with an initial consultation. During this appointment, Baptist Health Brain & Spine Care epileptologists discuss your symptoms and any previous treatments you may have had.

After your consultation, our team may conduct diagnostic tests to help us determine the best treatment for your condition.

Some of the diagnostic tests we use include:

  • Blood testing. Blood testing can help to identify genetic forms of epilepsy.
  • EEG (electroencephalogram). This test, which usually lasts 35 minutes, examines brain wave activity to determine brain health and function. Our team may ask that you wear a portable EEG at home for two to three days so that we can track your brain activity during your regular daily routine.
  • Long-term video monitoring (video EEG). During a long-term test, which we conduct in one of our Epilepsy Monitoring Units, you will stay in a private room at the hospital while we monitor your brain activity for several days.

We may also conduct an imaging test. Doctors also use these tests to plan for surgery. Imaging tests we use to diagnose epilepsy or seizure disorders include:

  • Miami Neuroscience Institute and Marcus Neuroscience Institute — both part of Baptist Health Brain & Spine Care — have Epilepsy Monitoring Units (EMUs). Our teams use EMUs to conduct long-term brain activity monitoring.

    Evaluation in an EMU helps us to make a precise diagnosis, find the exact point in the brain where seizures occur, optimize medication or plan for additional treatment options. We also use our EMU to conduct surgical evaluations.

    You may be a candidate for an EMU evaluation if you:

    • Have episodes that need to be confirmed as seizures or something else not able to be diagnosed via an EEG
    • Have intractable epilepsy that hasn’t responded to at least two anti-epileptic drugs
    • Are admitted to the hospital with convulsive or non-convulsive status epilepticus that is difficult to control with standard treatments

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Epilepsy & Seizure Treatments

The Baptist Health Brain & Spine Care team offers the latest medical and surgical treatments for epilepsy and seizure disorders.

If you have drug-resistant epilepsy, our team will evaluate your current treatment and make adjustments or recommend a new treatment option.

If medicines are not the best treatment option for you, we may recommend neurosurgery. Neurosurgical procedures to treat epilepsy and seizures include:

  • Laser ablation. This treatment uses heat to destroy the area of the brain that is causing epilepsy.
  • Resective surgery. This treatment removes brain tissue where the seizures start.

Our team is also highly skilled in the latest functional neurosurgery procedures to treat epilepsy. Some of the procedures we use include:

  • Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). This treatment uses electrical pulses to stimulate the vagus nerve and reduce seizures.
  • Responsive neurostimulation system (RNS). This surgically implanted medical device monitors and responds to your brain’s electrical activity to prevent seizures.
  • Deep brain stimulation (DBS). This treatment uses electrical pulses to regulate brain signals, which can help reduce seizures.

We are also home to one of the only intraoperative monitoring programs in the region. Intraoperative monitoring, called iMRI or iCT, allows specially trained neurophysiologists to track brain function during surgery. Neurosurgeons use intraoperative monitoring to identify changes in brain function that may lead to permanent damage. This type of real-time monitoring allows neurosurgeons to make adjustments that improve patient safety and outcomes.

Meet the Epilepsy & Seizures Team

Our team of epileptologists has expert training in the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy and other seizure disorders.

Our Locations

Our epilepsy and seizure specialists are located in Miami and Boca Raton. Find a location near you.

Epilepsy Clinical Trials

Epilepsy Clinical Trials

Clinical trials help us understand how new treatments and therapies may work to treat epilepsy or seizures. If you want to learn more about clinical trials or wish to participate in a treatment study, talk with your physician or check out our list of open clinical trials.

Frequently Asked Questions About Epilepsy & Seizure Care

  • If you have a seizure for the first time, or if you have a seizure that is different from a seizure you’ve had before, go to the emergency room right away. When possible, it’s best to lay on your side during the episode and protect your head.

    If you have chronic seizures, it’s still important to check in with your neurologist when you have an episode, even if your symptoms are typical for you. This can help your doctor track your symptoms and adjust your treatment.

  • For many people, the right medication can eliminate epilepsy symptoms. If you are on two medications and continue to have seizures, you may have drug-resistant epilepsy. If you have drug-resistant epilepsy, our team will talk with you about surgical treatment options.

  • If you've had a seizure, be sure to talk to your doctor about when it is safe for you to drive. State laws vary about driving with epilepsy or a seizure disorder. In Florida, you must be seizure-free for six months before driving. Our team can perform clearance exams if you live in a state requiring medical clearance for driving.

  • Every patient's symptoms are different, so the treatment time varies from person to person. If we recommend you take anti-epileptic medicine, we'll review any short- and long-term side effects. Ultimately, we want to find a treatment that helps your symptoms and fits your needs and lifestyle.

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