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Epilepsy Program

Epilepsy is a neurologic condition characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures. It affects 1-2% of the general population. Each year, MMP Neurology's epileptologists treat over 500 patients with epilepsy or suspected epilepsy. Usually, patients' seizures can be successfully treated with anticonvulsant medications. However, approximately one third of those newly diagnosed with epilepsy continue to experience seizures despite anticonvulsant therapy. Such patients require a specialized epilepsy center which can provide a wide range of diagnostic and treatment services.

MMC Neuroscience Institute and Maine Medical Partners (MMP) - Neurology have collaborated to develop a Level 3 Epilepsy Center using the National Association of Epilepsy Center guidelines. This is the first of its kind in Maine.

Our Level 3 Comprehensive Epilepsy Program provides medical, neuropsychological and psychosocial services for patients in a comfortable and local environment. Our inpatient services are centered on the epilepsy monitoring unit (or EMU) which can provide objective information with continuous audio-visual EEG monitoring under medical supervision. The EMU serves both pediatric and adult patients.

Outcomes from monitoring may include medication changes that lead to better control of epilepsy. Other times, the EMU provides information that a patient's epilepsy may be best treated with surgical options; in these instances, we initiate a referral to a center that specializes in epilepsy surgery and work collaboratively with them to coordinate care. Sometimes, the EMU stay determines that the symptoms are not epilepsy, in which case the patient can be referred to appropriate services.

Admission to the EMU is elective and is facilitated by an outpatient referral for consultation with one of our attending epileptologists. If you and your physician feel this testing may be valuable, please contact MMP - Neurology for a consultation and possible referral into the EMU.

In addition to the EMU, we work collaboratively with specialists in a variety areas to provide comprehensive treatment of individuals with epilepsy.

  • Our psychiatric consultation team assesses and treats emotional disorders associated with chronic epilepsy and evaluates those with psychogenic, nonepileptic seizures.
  • We have state of the art neuroimaging with neuroradiologist support.
  • We are able to evaluate cerebral dysfunction and to aid in vocational or rehabilitative services through neuropsychological testing.
  • Medical social workers are available to address psychosocial stressors related to chronic epilepsy and can help to coordinate additional ancillary services if needed.
  • Rehabilitative services, including occupational and physical therapy, help with basic evaluation and treatment of multiply handicapped individuals.

The Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Maine Medical Center is here to help patients in Maine with epilepsy receive the appropriate and coordinated care they need and deserve.

Program Highlights

  • Adult and pediatric epilepsy monitoring units with the latest technology in video and EEG monitoring
  • A well-coordinated team for both adult and pediatric patients consisting of epileptologists (one who specializes in pediatrics), pediatric neurologists, pediatric nurses, EEG technicians, a social worker, nurses who specialize in neurosciences, and a patient & family liaison
  • Neuroimaging technology available
  • Availability of adult and pediatric neuropsychologists
  • Access to neuro-rehabilitation services
  • Clinical trials (for novel anticonvulsant therapies, when available)
  • The convenience for patients and their families to have complex neurological conditions treated close to home

Other Specialized Services Include:

  • Neuroradiology
    • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
    • Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
  • Vagal Nerve Stimulation
    • Assessment/identification of patients who would benefit
    • Implantation
    • Management and optimization of settings

Maine Medical Center is a member of the MaineHealth System