Reducing Your Child's Seizures and Restoring Quality of Life
If your child is experiencing seizures or was recently diagnosed with epilepsy, we understand your concerns. You may be worried about how epilepsy will affect his or her progress in school, what will trigger the next seizure, and how it will affect your child's emotional and social development. At the Pediatric Epilepsy Centers of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, we pinpoint your child's seizures and what may be triggering them and work with you to tailor a plan of care that meets his or her needs. We consider you to be part of our team, a team focused on giving your child the best quality of life possible. When you come to us for epilepsy care, your child will benefit from:
- A Multidisciplinary Approach: Your child has access to all of the specialists he or she needs for care, including pediatric epileptologists, pediatric neurologists, pediatric neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, electroencephalogram (EEG) technologists, nurse practitioners, psychologists, psychiatrists, and dietitians. Through our team approach, we ensure that your child has access to definitive diagnostic testing and receives personalized medical attention. Our specialists are known for their expertise in caring for children with intractable seizures (those that are challenging to control). Moreover, if your child needs health care for another medical condition, we have the specialists and subspecialists onsite to meet those needs as well.
- Dedicated Pediatric Epilepsy Monitoring: One of the most important components of your child's epilepsy care is the diagnosis. We use the most advanced EEG technology to pinpoint the location, type, and severity of your child's seizures. Our diagnostic tools include 3T magnetic resonance structural, chemical, and functional imaging (MRI, MRS, and fMRI); single-photon emission computer tomography (SPECT); and positron emission tomography (PET). In addition to these neurological imaging studies, we use sophisticated tools to assess your child's brain function, including EEG monitoring and special electrophysiologic mapping techniques. We use the findings of these tests to plan surgery in children with epilepsy that cannot be adequately controlled with other therapies.
- Customized Therapy: We tailor therapy to your child's needs, taking into account other factors - such as lifestyle, stress, sleep habits, and diet - that may serve as triggers for seizures. Available treatments include antiseizure medications, dietary therapy and vitamins, and surgery. We reserve surgery only for those children whose seizures can't be controlled with nonsurgical methods.
- Specialized Care for Children with Other Disorders: Some disorders may predispose children to seizures, such as tuberous sclerosis complex, neurofibromatosis, and autism spectrum disorders. If your child has one of these disorders or another genetic disorder that can cause seizures, we have dedicated specialists with expertise in these areas who are available to provide care.
- Transitional Care to Adulthood: We recognize that epilepsy is a lifelong condition and that children's needs change as they get older, particularly during their teenage years. We work with teens to help them understand their responsibility for their health and to hear what they have to say about their personal goals. We use this information to tailor their therapy as they get older to meet their current needs at each stage of life. As they get ready to leave their teen years, we work with them and with our adult epilepsy treatment specialists to facilitate the gradual transition from pediatric to adult care, ensuring continuity of treatment.
- Care for Your Family: The needs of a child with epilepsy affect the entire family. We work closely with your family to address your child's needs and to assess how those needs influence your family's dynamic. For school-age children who require longer-term care, we have staff available to help children keep up with their educational development.