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The program coordinates the skills of highly specialized epileptologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, nurse specialists, EEG technologists, nutritionists, nurse educators, social workers and Child Life specialists, to create a team who are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of children with epilepsy.
Our program sees more than 13,000 infants and children with seizures each year. We perform more than 6,000 EEGs and more than 100 epilepsy surgeries annually, making the Cook Children's Comprehensive Epilepsy Program one of the busiest pediatric epilepsy centers in the nation. And with the arrival of our MEG, the newest generation of advanced imaging technology is now available to even our youngest generation of patients.
Using both medical and surgical treatments, the program offers some of the highest level of services to patients with epilepsy.
The National Association of Epilepsy Centers recognizes Cook Children's Comprehensive Epilepsy Program as a Level 4 Pediatric Epilepsy Center. Level 4 epilepsy centers have the professional expertise and facilities to provide the highest level medical and surgical evaluation and treatment for patients with complex epilepsy.
Our state-of-the-art Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) is an important component of the comprehensive evaluation and integrated care of patients with epilepsy and recurrent unprovoked spells. More than 800 children have been admitted to our 10-bed unit, designed with children in mind and capable of performing wireless electroencephalograms (EEGs) that allow the children to continue their normal activities while in the unit.
The EMU is part of the medical center's Neurophysiology program, and performs:
Cook Children's offers some of the most advanced, kid-friendly care in the nation. With leading-edge imaging and diagnostic capabilities, our specialists are able to better treat patients and help them get back to doing what they do best: being kids.
The Neurodiagnostic Center at Cook Children's offers the most innovative and advanced technologies to diagnose, evaluate, and treat the conditions that affect a child's brain and development. At Cook Children's, you'll have access to leading-edge resources, brilliant doctors, and a team of highly skilled medical professionals who specialize in pediatric neurology. All with one purpose in mind: to help your child have the best quality of care possible. Learn more.
The iMRI suite is a special operating room developed for brain surgery. It combines innovative surgical and imaging tools in one place. Surgeons can take high-quality MRIs during surgery to see the area of the brain they are operating on, the size and shape of tumors, and the difference between healthy and unhealthy tissue. And because surgeons have the ability to see and remove the entire tumor during one surgery, these tools make surgery more precise, reducing risk and the need for a second surgery. Learn more.
The latest development in magnetic imaging technology, the MEG makes finding and diagnosing a brain condition much easier for our doctors. Billions of neurons fire off trillions of electric signals, making the brain a very busy place. The MEG maps all of that activity so that doctors can pinpoint with incredible accuracy where in the brain the seizure is occurring and what removing tissue from that area may affect, like speech. This helps to determine the best course of treatment for each patient. Learn more.
Designed especially for patients with difficult to diagnose and control seizures, our advanced Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) offers the latest in high-tech evaluation tools. State-of-the-art wireless technology lets our team of highly trained EEG technologists record a child's brain activity while they do kid activities: visiting with other patients on the unit or in the play area, playing games, doing crafts, and sleeping. All in a safe environment surrounded by a specialized care team. Learn more.
3D modeling offers a unique dimension in the diagnosis and treatment of brain conditions. Advanced techniques create an actual 3D image of your child's brain. The neuro team then uses this image to map the location of tumors, epileptic seizures, and other neurologic conditions. This is especially useful in pinpointing a surgical area and determining the best course of treatment for your child. Learn more.
The physicians and surgeons who provide this care are also involved in clinical research to discover new treatments for pediatric epilepsy. Cook Children's neuroscience investigators are enrolling patients into multiple clinical trials of medications and medical devices, and the list continues to grow. Our neuroscientists' clinical research has helped develop treatments for many children with epilepsy who had no hope of living seizure-free.
The epilepsy team meets weekly to review individual epilepsy cases. At these meetings, epileptologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists and neuroradiologists review patient histories and physicals, neuroimaging, and neurodiagnostic tests. The team considers underlying diagnoses and the effectiveness and side effects of current management as well as treatment options and controversies before making a decision on the best epilepsy care. Careful consideration is given to neuropsychological, speech and psychiatric evaluations. Ultimately, the team makes their decision, and the attending physician, the patient, and his or her family are consulted in order to make the final medical or surgical treatment decision.
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