An epilepsy center is a specialized unit at a hospital or clinic that provides a patient-oriented comprehensive team approach to the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy. A team at an epilepsy center will usually include epileptologists, neurosurgeons, nurse specialists, EEG technologists, social workers and other members of the health care team with experience in epilepsy care. The National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC) offers a tool to find an epilepsy center near you: Find an Epilepsy Center.
Levels of Epilepsy Care
Epilepsy Centers are accredited through an organization called the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC). The NAEC recognizes four levels of epilepsy care. Basic Level 1 and Level 2 epilepsy care takes place in the emergency room, primary care physician’s office or neurologists’ office. A hospital can be accredited as an epilepsy center if it provides Level 3 or Level 4 care, which means specialized diagnostic testing, neuropsychological testing, evaluations for epilepsy surgery and simple or complex epilepsy surgery.
The NAEC recommends that children and youth with epilepsy be referred to a Level 3 or 4 center if they are seeing a general neurologist and their seizures have not been brought under control after 12 months. Delayed or denied referral may be detrimental to the patient’s health, safety and quality of life.
For more details, check out these helpful resources:
American Academy of Pediatrics