Diagnose and treat epilepsy correctly
Epilepsy belongs to one of the well treatable neurological diseases. Up to two thirds of all patients with epilepsy can be medically treated, and most after the first or second attempt are completely free of seizures.
One third of patients are not free of seizures even after several attempts. Under certain circumstances, around 20 percent of these patients can undergo successful epilepsy surgery treatment. In the absence of epilepsy surgery treatment options or when the patient decides against such treatment, they have the option of the so called recent Vagus Nerve Stimulation.
Apart from the ketogenic diet, other treatment strategies such as natural medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy and psychotherapy are lacking studies in proven effectiveness.
Pre-surgical epilepsy diagnostics
Functional diagnostics: Examinations to identify the area of the brain causing the seizures
- Video/EEG-long term monitoring. Recording of brain waves from the scalp and video monitoring of the patient.
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). Procedures to demonstrate the brain structure and where applicable, changes to the brain structure.
- SISCOM: complex procedures to demonstrate the beginning of an epileptic seizure with increasing focal metabolic activity.
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET): a seldom used procedure to demonstrate the reduced metabolic activity in the centre of the seizure focus.
- Electrocorticography: Recording of the brain waves directly from the brain tissue with implanted electrodes.
Examination of the adjoining functional brain area with:
- Language-fMRI: functional magnetic resonance imaging to localize the language areas. Can sometimes be replaced by the Wada-Test.
- Wada-Test, or intracarotoid sodium amobarbital procedure: anaesthetisation of one half of the brain (approx. 15 minutes) in order to examine the hemispheric localisation of language function.
- Cortical electrostimulation: direct electric stimulation of the cortex to determine function around the seizure location.
With the help of standardised neuropsychological tests, the status quo of the cognitive performance is documented and checked again post-operatively. Important insights in respect to the decrease in brain function can be gained from the neuropsychological performance profile.