The Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute brings together transformative research and patient-centered care to improve the lives of patients today and those of generations to come.
Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute
UT Southwestern Medical Center offers people with epilepsy a comprehensive and personalized approach to care, from drug research to electroencephalography (EEG) evaluation and brain mapping methods for pinpointing and controlling seizures.
Designated by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers as Level 4 – the highest possible level – UT Southwestern’s epilepsy program has one of the largest epilepsy teams in Texas, specializing in care for adult and pediatric patients in North Texas and beyond.
Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at Zale Lipshy University Hospital
Leading-Edge Care to Manage Seizures
Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain’s electrical activity. People with epilepsy suffer from recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions. Epilepsy seizures can affect the brain in different ways.
Epilepsy experts at UT Southwestern offer diagnostic and treatment capabilities for every stage of seizure disorder, helping patients with:
- Complex health care needs related to epilepsy
- Plans to become pregnant while taking medications for epilepsy
- Recently diagnosed epilepsy
- Spells, seizures, or similar events not diagnosed as epilepsy
- Seizures resulting from or complicated by traumatic brain injuries and
concussions, strokes and other cerebrovascular conditions, sleep disorders, and
conditions other than epilepsy
- Uncontrollable or treatment-resistant seizures that don’t respond to
Whether a patient is newly diagnosed with seizures or struggling with long-term treatment-resistant epilepsy, care at UT Southwestern begins with a comprehensive evaluation. Our diagnostic process helps physicians better understand a person’s seizure disorder and recommend a treatment approach that reduces a patient’s seizure burden and improves his or her quality of life.
For patients with uncontrolled seizures, UT Southwestern offers a state-of-the-art, 11-bed epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU) at Zale Lipshy University Hospital and a six-bed pediatric EMU at Children’s Hospital. Patients admitted to the EMU receive a comprehensive evaluation using continuous digital video recording by dual cameras in each patient room. The EMU allows physicians to refine diagnoses and respond in real time to a patient's needs as a seizure occurs.
UT Southwestern takes a team approach to epilepsy treatment. Neurologists who are trained in treating epilepsy lead care teams together with specialists in neurosurgery, neuroradiology, and neuropsychology, along with our advanced practice providers, nurses, and EEG technologists.
Patients at UT Southwestern benefit from built-in “second opinions” from this broad range of specialists, who meet as a team to evaluate treatment options for each patient. The team develops a personalized strategy that balances the latest developments in treatments to control seizures with quality-of-life considerations.
Treatment options at UT Southwestern include:
Epilepsy often can be controlled with medication. UT Southwestern offers a broad range of medications, including the latest therapeutics.
UT Southwestern neurologists are among the first epilepsy experts in the United States to apply autoimmune neurology to treat seizures. Autoimmune disorders can cause epilepsy in more than 20 percent of patients, particularly those with seizures that cannot be managed by medications.
Surgical options at UT Southwestern include:
- Intracranial EEG
- Minimally invasive laser ablation surgery for treatment
- Surgical resection
UT Southwestern is also among the first hospitals in Texas to use the Robotized Stereotactic Assistant (ROSA®), which is based on technology that combines GPS-like mapping software with a robotic arm to provide accurate measurements and precise movements. Using ROSA to assist, neurosurgeons can pinpoint the source of seizures and then treat them. Using ROSA reduces operating time, shortens recovery time, and improves overall safety.
Other specialized treatments include alternative diet therapy and hormone therapy.
Epilepsy research conducted at UT Southwestern makes important contributions to developing new medications and devices that can help patients effectively control their seizures. Patients at UT Southwestern have the opportunity to participate in ongoing clinical trials that are investigating the latest therapies.
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