Working together to prevent your next seizure
Whether you've suffered one or multiple seizures, one thing is for certain: You want the best chance to avoid further seizures. The expert neurologists in the Epilepsy Program at Tufts Medical Center in Boston understand — and are here to help.
We have devoted our careers to studying, diagnosing and treating epilepsy seizure disorders and will work with teams across the medical center, including specialists from pediatric epilepsy, neuropsychology, neuroradiology and neurosurgery as well as other colleagues in neurology to provide the best epilepsy treatment plans for your needs. In fact, our Epilepsy Program has been awarded a Level 4 Comprehensive Epilepsy Center status by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers.
What does this mean for you? If you're struggling with epilepsy or seizures, you'll benefit from a comprehensive evaluation and a unique treatment plan that gives you the best chance to avoid further seizures. And you'll experience the intimate, compassionate care that only Tufts MC delivers.
This comprehensive care has lead to our Level 4 Comprehensive Epilepsy Center status that was recently awarded to our program by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. Learn more >
Finding the cause of your epilepsy or seizures
Ours is the program that many referring doctors turn to when:
- A patient has a first-time seizure
- Multiple anti-seizure medications have proven ineffective
- They need help deciding whether epilepsy surgery or other non-pharmacological options would be effective
During your first visit to our Boston campus, we discuss your seizure(s) with you and perform a thorough physical and neurological examination. If you have not already been diagnosed with epilepsy or another seizure disorder, we will order tests.
Our team is highly skilled in conducting electroencephalogram (EEG) tests, which measure electrical activity in the brain and are helpful in confirming a diagnosis of epilepsy. If more testing is necessary, we may consult with Tufts MC experts in brain imaging. We also offer a long-term monitoring service (in which you stay for multiple nights so we can capture information during a seizure episode) and ambulatory at-home EEG options.
Maximizing effectiveness, minimizing side effects
If you've only had one seizure, and your tests don't raise any concerns, we may decide the best option is to simply monitor your condition.
If you do need treatment, the good news is that anti-seizure medications can be successful. Our first goal is to find medications that not only prevent seizures for you, but also produce no side effects.
If you don't respond to medications, we'll look to other treatment options. A stay at our long-term monitoring service can help us determine where in the brain your seizures are originating. Depending on what we see, epilepsy surgery may be an option to eliminate future seizures altogether. Our multidisciplinary team, including a neurosurgeon, will help you decide if surgery is right for you.
Other possibilities, which we employ less often, include:
- Vagal nerve stimulation: A treatment that involves implanting a pacemaker that sends small electrical pulses via wires to the brain
- Ketogenic diet: A special high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that helps control seizures in some people with epilepsy
- Experimental therapies: Clinical trials offering access to promising new therapies (participation is voluntary)
Follow-up is very important for seizure management. You should continue seeing our program and/or your local doctor to ensure your seizures are under control and to watch for the emergence of certain symptoms.
If you refer a patient to us for evaluation, we will make every effort to see him or her as soon as possible. If the patient remains under our care, we will update you as necessary on our management plan and send you notes following each appointment.