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Comprehensive Epilepsy Center

The MUSC Health Comprehensive Epilepsy Center offers advanced diagnostics, multidisciplinary planning and a full spectrum of medical and surgical therapies. Our team of clinicians and researchers are all working together in leading-edge facilities designed specifically for the needs of the epilepsy patient.

Our Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, has been designated a Level 4 Epilepsy Center which is the highest designation given by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. This NAEC accreditation recognizes extensive expertise and truly comprehensive care in the medical, surgical, social and psychological management of epilepsy.

The multi-disciplinary team at MUSC Health understands that having epilepsy means more than having seizures. For that reason, we believe that treating epilepsy has to go beyond the treatment of just seizures. Our goal is to eliminate or reduce seizures and improve the quality of life for people living with epilepsy. Dedicated epileptologists, nurses, and other allied health specialists work together as a team to help ensure excellent case management for all patients.

Inpatient Epilepsy Treatment

MUSC Health's six-bed epilepsy inpatient unit offers the latest digital monitoring and video capabilities to quickly and efficiently develop a definitive diagnosis for patients who do not respond to first-line therapies. Seizure activity is captured and evaluated in a fraction of the time required in non-dedicated environments.

Outpatient Epilepsy Treatment

Patients are evaluated and provided a continuum of care by our multi-disciplinary team through our out-patient facilities. We offer a variety of locations for your convenience: Rutledge Tower in downtown Charleston, West Ashley Medical Pavilion, and East Cooper Medical Pavilion.

Neurophysiology Lab

The Neurophysiology Lab at the Medical University of South Carolina offers patients comprehensive diagnostic testing in a comfortable atmosphere for both in-patient and out-patient services. Using the latest technology, medical professionals in the Neurophysiology Lab work with patients and their physicians to assist in the diagnosis of a wide variety of neurological conditions. MUSC Health is currently the only medical center in the United States with the complete combination of accredited labs in EEG, Intraoperative Monitoring, and Intracranial and Extracranial vascular imaging, in conjunction with a level IV epilepsy center.

Stereo-EEG (SEEG)

Stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to identify areas of the brain where epileptic seizures begin in a three dimensional (3D) space. MUSC Health is one of only a handful of centers in the U.S. who offer this procedure.

High-density Electroencephalogram (HD-EEG)

This device uses 256 channels of EEG, non-invasively. to help find the part of the brain where seizures start. MUSC Health is the only Epilepsy Center in the Southeast clinically offering this technology for patients.

Laser-induced Thermoablation

Our Epilepsy providers offer Visualase stereotactic laser ablation. This procedure is done through strategic collaboration with the Department of Neurosurgery. Our Epileptologists do special studies to figure out where the seizures are coming from: electroencephalogram (EEG) brainwave studies, advanced imaging studies like Positron emission tomography (PET) scans and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) scans, and obviously magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. This noninvasive procedure improves patient care as they are able to go home the next day. Read about a patient's recent experience with the laser technology.

Responsive Neuro Stimulations

A small microprocessor in a thin, flat, metal shell is implanted in the skull and attached via one or two wire leads to strip or depth electrodes. The implanted device continuously records the cortical activity of the brain and that information is stored on the microprocessor. When a patient experiences a seizure, he or she is asked to hold a special magnet near the implanted device, which marks the seizure’s occurrence.

By analyzing the recorded data, the physician can identify the specific electronic signature of the patient’s seizure and customize the timing and intensity of the neurostimulation delivered via the device. Once programmed, the device monitors for that electronic signature and delivers the prescribed electrical charge needed to disrupt it and prevent the seizure. Adjustments can be made during office visits to fine tune the timing and intensity of the neurostimulation.

Tele-EEG

MUSC Health’s epilepsy team offers consultations by specially trained neurophysiologists to interpret routine and urgent Electroencephalograms (EEG). This service is provided to hospitals around South Carolina through a web-based outreach initiative.

Our Team

The MUSC Health Comprehensive Epilepsy Center brings together epilepsy doctors, specialists and treatment in Charleston, SC. Our care team members have devoted their careers to the management of epilepsy. Patient care is supported by a wide variety of specialists from the fields of neurology, neurosurgery, neurophysiology, nursing, radiology, psychiatry, speech and language pathology, social work and research.

Additional Care Team Members 

Neurology:
Julie DesMarteau, RD, MPAS, PA-C
Elizabeth Koontz, NP-C

Neurosurgery:
Abbie Ensor, RN, MSN
Jennifer Marshall, PA-C

Neurophysiology Lab
Allison Jones, CNIM | Neurophysiology Lab Director

Neuropsychology:
Mark T. Wagner, Ph.D.

Speech Language Pathology:
Kikki Thayer, MS, CCC-SLP

Social Work:
Sherrell Thomas-Nelson, MSW

Research Faculty:
Ambesaw W. Selassie, MPH, DrPh
Kenton Holden, M.D.  
Gigi Smith, Ph.D., APRN, CPNP-PC  
Janelle Wagner, Ph.D.

Nursing:
Paula Kersey, RN, BSN
Kelly Kornegay, RN
Amy Shore, RN, BSN

Epilepsy Patient Coordinator:
Lane Stallworth, BS

 

Research

Cutting-edge work includes grant-funded studies, collaborative partnerships and industry-sponsored clinical trials, all aimed at finding causes and cures. From a triple-phase assessment process with leading-edge technology to breakthrough medical and surgical treatments, the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center is poised to deliver improved outcomes for patients, physicians and families experiencing epilepsy.

Epilepsy specific research currently in progress includes:

 

 

Epilepsy Resources

View our Patient Resources page to find epilepsy information dealing with topics from how to deal with chronic headaches to first aid for seizures.