Find all the care you need for complex cases of epilepsy through the UNM Comprehensive Epilepsy Center – New Mexico’s only such facility. You can count on our services and expertise because we have a Level 4 designation, the highest available, from the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. Join your neighbors throughout the Southwest who visit us for exceptional treatment that improves quality of life.
You’ll get care from UNM Health experts who know the latest advances in diagnosing and treating recurring seizures. Partner with our board-certified neurologists, fellowship-trained neurosurgeons and experienced nurses, all of whom specialize in epilepsy. Your care team works closely with your primary care provider and general neurologist to develop a personalized treatment plan that supports long-term health.
Your First Appointment
During your first visit to the UNM Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, a doctor will review your medical history and examine your motor and sensory skills, balance, coordination, reflexes and mental functioning. Expect the appointment to last a few hours. Bring a family member or friend who has seen one of your seizures, or provide the phone number of someone who the neurologist can call during the appointment to ask about your seizure symptoms. You’ll also want to bring your medications and EEG or MRI test results.
Testing & Diagnosis
After your physical exam, a doctor may request more testing to get thorough, detailed information about your symptoms and condition, so the care team can determine the best treatment. You gain access to:
- The full spectrum of lab, imaging and genetic tests.
- Noninvasive and surgical procedures that evaluate the brain’s electrical activity.
- Neuropsychological exams that assess memory and thinking.
Inpatient Video EEG Monitoring
At our epilepsy monitoring unit – the only one in New Mexico – you might spend a few days receiving 24-hour video EEG recording that captures the moment of a seizure. Doctors review the recordings to analyze your behavior and brain waves. During monitoring, you’ll stay in a private room with an extra bed for a relative or friend who can provide companionship and support.
MEG, found in only a few southwestern states, measures the brain’s magnetic activity to help doctors precisely locate brain tissue that causes seizures. UNM Comprehensive Epilepsy Center uses the most up-to-date MEG technology available in the world.
Your doctor may recommend surgery if medications don’t control your seizures. You will work with your care team to determine the most appropriate procedure for you. Some examples include:
- Disconnection surgery disrupts the nerve pathways that allow seizures to spread through the brain.
- Resection surgery removes the area of the brain that’s causing seizures.
- Thalamic stimulation implants a small device and electrodes in your brain to deliver mild pulses of electricity that help prevent seizures.
- Vagus nerve stimulation implants a small, pacemaker-like device in your chest that sends electrical signals to a nerve in your neck to prevent partial seizures.
Rely on the UNM Comprehensive Epilepsy Center to care for your entire well-being through:
- Specialized medication management services.
- Rehabilitation, including physical, occupational and speech therapy.
- Counseling and social work services to help you cope with your condition, meet life goals, find work and take advantage of community resources.