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Texas Comprehensive Epilepsy Program

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Leading Epilepsy Diagnosis & Treatment in the Southwest

The Texas Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at the Mischer Neuroscience Institute is the leading program in the southwestern United States for the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy in patients of all ages.

We draw upon the combined expertise of board-certified neurologists and neurosurgeons with subspecialty training and experience in treating patients with seizures and epilepsy.

Our mission is to help epilepsy patients gain control of their seizures and regain their desired quality of life by applying the most comprehensive diagnostic and treatment methods available.

Causes of Epilepsy

Epilepsy is not the same in everyone. Some of the reasons patients develop epilepsy still defy medical explanation, but the onset of epilepsy may be associated with a number of known causes.

Genetics, brain trauma, structural abnormalities, stroke and brain tumor rank among the top underlying causes. Determining why a patient may have developed the condition is crucial to planning the most effective treatment.

Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

At the heart of our program is a state-of-the-art Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (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 five to seven 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.

Diagnosing Epilepsy

Physicians at Mischer Neuroscience Institute use the most advanced diagnostic technology, such as stereoencephalography (SEEG) and robotic SEEG. This remarkable tool allows for simultaneous exploration of electrical activity on the surface of the brain and deep within it--all while a patient is experiencing a seizure. Thin electrodes are inserted via tiny holes in a minimally invasive procedure, and the patient is monitored for up to four weeks. The SEEG enables physicians to precisely locate the area of epileptic focus while identifying functional areas of the brain.

The Mischer Neuroscience Institute is a national leader in combining the use of MEG and functional MRI to fully map the brain and brain activity. Each year, MNI performs more than 150 completely noninvasive, pain-free MEG procedures on pediatric and adult patients, without the need for anesthetic or exposure to hazardous materials. And with shortened measurement preparation and collection times, a path of treatment may be determined as quickly and safely as possible - ensuring our patients get the treatment they need, when they need it.

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

Memory and Speech (WADA) Testing

The WADA test is performed on patients being considered for surgery. It is used to identify the language and memory functions of the left and right brain.

Neuropsychological Testing

Neuropsychological testing is used to determine if seizures have changed areas of brain function such as memory, language, math skills or personality.