The Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) is a specialized unit designed to evaluate, diagnose, and treat seizures in patients of all ages. Our hospital offers the most advanced diagnostic services in epilepsy, to better diagnose the type of epilepsy or seizures, the reason why they are occurring and the best medication for each type of seizure disorder. Our EMU is an inpatient unit run by our epilepsy specialist, who is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Epilepsy. We offer in-depth diagnostic and treatment services for people with difficult to diagnose or treat seizures or epilepsy. It is important to know that not all seizure medications work for all types of seizures. Depending on the type of seizure you have and what is causing it, a seizure medication that is not properly selected can make the seizure worse or difficult to treat. This is why it is important to be evaluated in an epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU) where we can properly monitor the patient, record the brain wave study, classify the seizure type and select the best medication that can treat the particular type of seizure. Our EMU team is made up the neurologist specialized in the treatment of seizures and epilepsy (epileptologist) , psychiatrist who provides neuropsychology services, nurse specialists, EEG technologists, social workers, nutritionist and others with special training and experience in epilepsy treatment. These individuals work in a multidisciplinary team to cater for our patients and their families while admitted in the hospital. Please read the following questions and answers to understand the unique service offered in this specialized unit.
1. When seizures are difficult to diagnose, and there is a need to confirm if a person has epilepsy or non-epileptic events (physiologic or psychogenic).
2. When seizure type or epilepsy syndrome is uncertain and/or seizures are not responding to treatment.
3. When etiology of seizures is unknown/unclear.
4. When patients experience unexplained memory loss, confusion or abnormal movements of the body.
5. When seizures persist after trials with two appropriate seizure medications titrated to correct doses or the person has unacceptable medication side effects.
6. When comorbidities are difficult to diagnose or manage, for example behavioral difficulties, mood disorders, and/or cognitive disorders.
7. When surgery, stimulation devices (i.e., vagus nerve stimulation), or dietary therapy is being considered.
8. Children or adults with neurocutaneous disorders and epileptic encephalopathies.
9. Women with epilepsy who are pregnant or planning pregnancy.
10. Women with hormonal considerations affecting management of seizures, for example catamenial epilepsy, reproductive endocrine disorders, interactions with contraceptive treatment, menopause.
11. Older adults with new onset events that are not of certain etiology and may be new-onset seizures or chronic epilepsy.
12. People with epilepsy and their families who desire education and support for self-management or psychosocial concerns.
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