Person undergoing electroencephalography

Individualized Treatment for Managing Epilepsy

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 3.4 million people in the United States live with epilepsy. A chronic condition of recurring seizures, it is the fourth most common neurological disease.

To address the need for epilepsy care on the Eastside, the Overlake Neuroscience Institute now provides advanced care and monitoring by neurologists specially trained in epilepsy (also called epileptologists).

Unlike stroke, which is a loss of brain function, a seizure is caused by excessive brain activity. Our brains generate electrical signals that control our emotions, senses and body functions. Seizures occur when abnormal electrical impulses occur. Seizing can happen anywhere in the brain and affects the area of the body that part of the brain controls.

Epilepsy isn’t always a convulsive seizure.

“There are many types of seizures that can affect speech, vision and even our behaviors," says Nicholas Jonas, MD, of the Overlake Neuroscience Institute. That’s why it is often not recognized as epilepsy and misdiagnosed as other conditions such as migraine, mental health disorders, certain cardiac conditions or sleep disorders, among others.

Epilepsy treatment isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Seizure types vary widely, as do epilepsy medications. It starts with an accurate diagnosis—based on a patient’s symptoms, test results and seizure type—and from there, providers at the Institute tailor a patient’s treatment plan to control seizures and optimize their daily life. The type of treatment depends on the type of epilepsy diagnosed.

“Much like other chronic conditions such as diabetes, people with epilepsy live with the disease daily,” says Emily Fan, MD, also of the Overlake Neuroscience Institute. “I work closely with my patients so they are able to continue their normal, day-to-day activities.”

For more information, please call 425.635.6560 or visit overlakehospital.org/neuro.