Find all the care and treatment you need for complex cases of epilepsy through the UNM Comprehensive Epilepsy Center in Albuquerque – New Mexico’s only such facility. You can count on the services and expertise of our epilepsy specialists 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.
Your First Appointment
During your first visit to the UNM Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, a doctor specializing in epilepsy 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.
Epilepsy Testing & Diagnosis
After your physical exam, a doctor may request more testing to get thorough, detailed information about your symptoms and condition, so the epilepsy 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, 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.
Surgical Treatment for Epilepsy
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.