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Diagnosing Epilepsy
Understanding Your Epilepsy Journey

Phase I: Diagnosing Epilepsy

Epileptologists at Memorial Hermann Mischer Neurosciences, affiliated with UTHealth, examine, evaluate and refer patients for appropriate testing, using the most advanced diagnostic technology. Our full suite of diagnostic tools for epilepsy includes:

  • Stereo EEG (SEEG) and robotic SEEG
  • MEG (magnetoencephalography) Elekta Neuromag® TRIUX
  • Video EEG (electroencephalography)
  • 3-Tesla Structural MRI
  • Functional MRI and tractography
  • PET and SPECT

Types of Evaluation

Outpatient EEGs

Routine EEG—outpatient procedure with a duration of 20 to 30 minutes as a scheduled appointment

23 hour EEG—outpatient procedure with a duration of 23 hours as a scheduled appointment

Inpatient EEGs

Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU)—elective admission for an average of 3 to 7 days and at times longer

Continuous EEG Monitoring

Inpatient diagnostic procedure for patients already in the hospital with a medical or neurological problem and clinical suspicion for seizure activity

Locations with EEG Monitoring Capability

EMU

At the heart of our program is a state-of-the-art EMU—the largest and most comprehensive unit of its kind in the region. Patients are referred to the EMU for one of three reasons:

  • They have seizures whose cause is still unknown.
  • They have medically uncontrolled seizures.
  • They are being evaluated for surgery.

Patients typically are admitted on an inpatient basis and stay with us for an average of 5 to 7 days—sometimes longer for those with medically uncontrolled seizures or patients undergoing evaluation for surgical treatment. During their stay, patients are monitored 24/7 for even the smallest sign of seizure activity. As one of the only inpatient units in the country with a comprehensive set of diagnostic technologies, we constantly gather and record data to help define and locate seizure activity within the brain.

Locations with an EMU

Patient Story

Carrie's seizures began after she fell from a grocery store shopping cart when she was 3 years old. After surgery as an adult at Mischer Neuroscience Institute, she is seizure free.

 

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