Epilepsy centers are specialized institutions with adequate resources to provide expert care to patients and families struggling with epilepsy. At these centers, a group of healthcare professionals from different disciplines works together to better understand the causes of uncontrolled seizures and to identify a treatment that can be effective for drug-resistant epilepsy.
The multidisciplinary team of professionals includes epileptologists, general brain doctors or neurologists, brain surgeons or neurosurgeons, psychologists, radiologists, nurses, technicians, social workers, and other personnel with experience in epilepsy.
In cases when the seizures cannot be controlled despite the treatment plan, the team will be invested in providing the best care possible for reducing the frequency of the seizures to avoid the risk of injuries and for improving the quality of life.
Epilepsy centers provide comprehensive care and may be affiliated with university hospitals, community hospitals, and research centers. Four levels of epilepsy centers are identified by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC). These levels are:
- Level 1 epilepsy care: The primary care provider performs initial evaluations and may treat people with well-controlled epilepsy.
- Level 2 epilepsy care: The brain doctor or neurologist is involved in the care of the person with epilepsy.
- Level 3 epilepsy care: Basic medical, diagnostic and psychosocial services are provided at the epilepsy center. Some centers may offer non-complex evaluations and uncomplicated epilepsy surgery.
- Level 4 epilepsy care: Complex medical, diagnostic and extensive psychosocial services are provided at the epilepsy center. The center offers complex evaluations and advanced epilepsy surgeries.
Centers that complete an accreditation process are designated as epilepsy centers. The quality of care and the capacity to provide specific services at the epilepsy centers are evaluated with this accreditation process.
To learn more about epilepsy centers and find one near you visit the NAEC website. Talk to your doctor about it and ask for a referral.