Skip to main content

What is an Epileptologist and Who Needs One?

Epilepsy neural modeling












Do you have a neurologist? Or is your epilepsy followed by you primary care physician? Should you see an epileptologist? And what is an epileptologist anyway?

Epilepsy affects roughly 1% of the population and is one of the most common neurologic diseases. Ideally patients with epilepsy (recurrent seizures) are treated and followed by a neurologist. Many patients, who are doing well and on stable doses of medications, can even be followed by their primary care physician, perhaps seeing their neurologist infrequently. But who should be treated by an epileptologist?

There is no strict definition of what an epileptologist is. Generally speaking, an epileptologist is a neurologist who has a specific interest in, and focuses on, epilepsy. To become a neurologit in the US, one must graduate from medical (or osteopathic medicine) school, and then complete a neurology residency (training) for 4 years. After that, the neurologist can sub-specialize in a more specific filed of neurology, including epilepsy. (Other examples include stroke, pain, neuromuscular disease, and movement disorders). This additional subspecialized training is referred to as fellowship, and usually consist of 1 or 2 years of additional training. In addition to the duration, there is great variability in the type of fellowship: the proportion of patient care vs "clinical neurophysiology" (EEG), the type of center (surgical vs not) and the volume of the clinics and epilepsy monitoring unit.

So, who should see an epileptologist? As discussed in more depth in a previous column titled "The next level of care", most patients with epilepsy do not need an epileptologist and should be followed by a general neurologist. The ones that do are the (roughly) 30% whose seizures are not controlled with the first 2 or 3 medications. For those, it is important that they be given specialized care, which typically begins with EEG-video monitoring, and can result in the rectification of a wrong diagnosis, change in medications, or surgical procedures. Other reasons that may justify an expert (epileptologist) opinion include medication side effects, pregnancy, and complicated issues related to disability or driving.


Enhanced by Zemanta
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

What Is Continuous Spike-Wave in Slow Wave Sleep Syndrome? (A RARE EPILEPSY)

Image via Wikipedia Continuous spike-wave in slow wave sleep syndrome (CSWS) is a rare epilepsy syndrome in which children lose a wide range of developmental abilities, including language, motor skills, memory, and visuospatial skills. This syndrome occurs in school-aged children. Development prior to onset of CSWS may be normal, but children with CSWS often have some pre-existing learning difficulties. In many children there is no known cause of epilepsy, although some children are found to have abnormal brain formation or have a prior history of brain infection. We still do not understand how these structural changes result in the continuous EEG discharge.

Many, but not all, children with CSWS also have seizures. There can be many different seizure types, including absence, generalized tonic-clonic, and focal seizures. The seizures can be difficult to treat. Even in those who already had learning difficulties, there is a clear loss of skills across multiple deve…

Vitamin B12: The Most Important Nutrient You Need

Image via Wikipedia
Image by icethim via Flickr If you aren’t getting enough vitamin B12, it is indeed very important – and you may very well not be thinking about it. One reason you aren’t thinking about it is that we tend to fall in (and out!) of love with one nutrient at a time (such as vitamin C, beta carotene, lycopene and so on), and vitamin B12 isn’t the nutrient du jour. But the other reason you may not be thinking about it is … because you can’t. A deficiency of vitamin B12 can limit your ability to think clearly about anything! (More on that momentarily.)
Like all vitamins, B12 is an organic compound, made from carbons (as opposed to minerals, which are inorganic), and essential for our normal metabolic function and health. Also, like most vitamins, B12 plays a wide variety of roles in our metabolism. The short list of important effects B12 has on your health includes these: Vitamin B12 is essential for the manufacture of red blood cells; a deficiency leads to a cha…

Aloe Vera - diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, burns, sunburns, psoriasis and osteoarthritis

Introduction This fact sheet provides basic information about aloe vera—common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. Aloe vera's use can be traced back 6,000 years to early Egypt, where the plant was depicted on stone carvings. Known as the "plant of immortality," aloe was presented as a burial gift to deceased pharaohs.
What Aloe Vera Is Used ForTraditionally, aloe was used topically to heal wounds and for various skin conditions, and orally as a laxative.Today, in addition to traditional uses, people take aloe orally to treat a variety of conditions, including diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, and osteoarthritis. People use aloe topically for osteoarthritis, burns, sunburns, and psoriasis.Aloe vera gel can be found in hundreds of skin products, including lotions and sunblocks.The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved aloe vera as a natural food flavoring. Aloe vera ...Lô Hội, Nha Đam..#1 (Photo credit: Vietnam Plants &…