Diagnosis of Epilepsy

The Epilepsy Unit of the Hospital del Mar diagnoses and treats patients with all forms of epilepsy. The Program offers comprehensive care to both outpatients and hospitalized patients and provides them with a wide range of pharmacological and surgical therapeutic options, including research therapies and alternatives not available at other centres. Patients requiring inpatient treatment receive care in a specialized neurological unit. The Program includes the coordinated integration of the External Consultation on Epilepsy (CEE) for adults and children with the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU). Patients who are candidates for epilepsy surgery, with an uncertain diagnosis of epilepsy, with motor or consciousness disturbances that may suggest epilepsy, with suspected pseudoseizures and patients with uncontrolled epilepsy are monitored.

From a diagnostic point of view, 3 types of procedures are performed:

  1. Syndromic diagnosis: Type of epilepsy.
  2. Etiologic diagnosis: Genetic, autoimmune, structural, infectious.
  3. Pre-surgical diagnosis: Video-EEG, Neuropsychology, MRI of 3T, SPECT, PET, etc.

Phase 1 of preoperative diagnosis constitutes noninvasive monitoring including the performance of prolonged video-EEG monitoring, a Neuropsychological evaluation and a 3T brain MRI with epilepsy protocol.

Some patients will require an invasive Phase 2 study. At this stage, patients are implanted with intracranial electrodes and admitted to the EMU for invasive monitoring for 14-21 days. Brain mapping and seizure assessment are performed here

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