Services at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program

Epilepsy Surveillance

Our physicians are specialists in identifying and treating specific types of seizures. In addition to the precise identification of types of epileptic seizures, we also diagnose non-epileptic seizures, which are a very common condition that mimics epilepsy. Having psychological causes, they are diagnosed and treated in collaboration with the Division of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Neurology. Accurate, complete diagnosis is critical in determining an optimal treatment plan for patients suffering from seizure disorders.

Patients may be referred to our center for:

  • Diagnostic Evaluation to determine whether seizures are epileptic or on-epileptic. Long-term video-EEG monitoring (LTM), regionally available only at Rhode Island Hospital, is used to secure the precise diagnosis and to direct future treatment options

  • Evaluation to determine whether patients could benefit from surgery, vagus nerve stimulation, or a dietary approach or different course of medication to manage their epilepsy

  • Medication Management to ensure that medications are precisely tailored so that patients receive the most effective type and dosage to control their seizures

  • Acute Inpatient Care and long-term monitoring for patients with persistent acute seizures that are resistant to medical management

  • Emergency Treatment in the intensive care unit (ICU) if seizures are severe and life-threatening, or if they occur in the context of other medical or neurologic conditions such as encephalitis, stroke, hemorrhage, or cancer

Our team includes specialists in all areas of epilepsy care who have expertise in treating patients with special concerns, such as:

  • Women with concerns about pregnancy or contraception

  • Elderly patients, who may also be more sensitive to side effects and have unique metabolic concerns that impact their medical management

  • Pediatric patients, for whom treatments need to be carefully tailored to maximize seizure control and minimize impact on cognition and learning, among other concerns

    Our group of pediatric epileptologists, led by director John N. Gaitanis, has extensive expertise in treating children with epilepsy, and they see outpatients in the child friendly environment of the Children's Neurodevelopmental Center (CNDC).

  • Developmentally disabled patients, who may need support in administration of medication, adherence to schedule, and monitoring of effectiveness and possible side effects