Comprehensive Epilepsy Center Testing Services
Every person experiences epilepsy differently. For that reason, creating the right treatment plan for your symptoms requires expert clinical testing, which we provide at NYU Langone’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center.
As a leader in the surgical treatment of epilepsy in adults and children, we offer a broad range of neurophysiological studies that provide physicians with important information about abnormal electrical activity in the brain. This helps us to determine the best treatment for your specific needs.
Office Evaluation and Consultation
A detailed and accurate history of your seizure episodes is the most helpful tool for making a diagnosis of epilepsy. It is essential that you give your doctor all information possible about your seizures, because most doctors never witness a patient having one.
General Medical Examination
Because seizures may be caused by medical disorders, a general medical examination is an important part of the first consultation. The examination and certain laboratory tests can tell the doctor whether imbalances in your liver, kidneys, and other organs are contributing to your condition.
A neurological examination determines whether parts of your brain have been compromised by your condition. The neurologist assesses your ability to remember words, calculate numbers, and name objects. Your doctor also tests your reflexes, walking, and coordination. A brief screening examination is often done again during follow-up visits to see if there has been any change in neurological function.
Electroencephalography and Epilepsy
Electroencephalography, or EEG, is a safe and painless procedure in which electrodes are applied to your scalp with a special paste or glue. The EEG is the most specific test for diagnosing epilepsy because it records the electrical activity of the brain. There are several types of EEG, including routine EEG, ambulatory EEG, and video-EEG monitoring.
Neuroimaging of the Brain
Neuroimaging provides doctors with pictures of the brain that allow us to determine whether there is an anatomical reason for your seizures. The neuroimaging tests most commonly used include PET/CT scan, both MRI and functional MRI, magnetoencephalography, magnetic source imaging, and single-photon emission computed tomography.
Brain mapping procedures are used to identify parts of the brain that can be safely removed during epilepsy surgery. It can also provide clues to the location of your seizures. We perform the Wada test, which allows doctors to identify areas of the brain that control language, motor, sensory, and visual functions.
Neuropsychological testing involves an evaluation of attention, memory, language, and other cognitive functions. These tests provide important details about cognitive and behavioral functioning and give your doctor objective information that helps in creating your treatment plan.
Certain specialized services are only available at Tisch Hospital. These include:
- PET scan
- MRI with sedation for children
- brain mapping and Wada testing
- ambulatory EEG
In addition, a complete evaluation of sleep-related problems for patients with epilepsy is available at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center—Sleep Center. Some of the testing services offered include nocturnal sleep study and nocturnal seizure recording.