The following information may be helpful to you in making the necessary arrangements for a neurological evaluation at the Epilepsy Center.
What forms do we need?
Please fill out the following forms as appropriate and bring with you to your appointment.
- New Patient Questionnaire: Adult Epilepsy for Drs. Bergey, Cervenka, Crone and Krauss
- New Patient Questionnaire for Dr. Lesser
- New Patient Questionnaire: Pediatric Epilepsy for Drs. Stafstrom, Hartman, Kelley, Kossoff and "First Seizure Clinic"
- Permission to E-mail
What records do we need?
Our team recommends that the patient either send their medical records in advance or bring them to their visit. Whenever possible, the actual films of previous MRIs and/or CT scans and the EEG tracings from previous recordings, especially those showing an abnormality, should be brought to the appointment. We emphasize that we would like to review the actual EEG tracing whenever possible, not just the report, especially when there is an abnormality.
We also request patients bring names, addresses and phone numbers of all health care professionals who should receive letters about our findings and suggestions.
What to Expect
The patient should expect to spend anywhere from one to six hours or more at the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center, depending on the specific medical problems. Many patients require an EEG, which takes about an hour and laboratory work to check anticonvulsant levels. In addition to seeing an epileptologist (a neurologist who specializes in the treatment of epilepsy), the patient may see other medical personnel participating in the patient's care and evaluation. Our epilepsy group works together as a team in providing comprehensive care.
What Tests Are Required for Diagnosis?
Although a patient's history of seizures is an important key to diagnosing epilepsy, the electroencephalogram (EEG) is crucial in confirming the diagnosis. EEGs record the electrical impulses ("brain waves") coming from inside a patient's head. By studying these impulses, doctors can determine what kind of seizures a patient has and where in the brain they begin. Routine EEG testing is useful for documenting abnormal electrical patterns in the brain, but does not always show abnormal brain activity between seizures. Therefore, monitoring is often performed over a prolonged period. Through this continuous EEG monitoring we are more likely to find the signs signaling epilepsy. Video monitoring can be done at the same time so that the activities of a patient during a seizure can be matched with the EEG recorded at the same time. Other diagnostic tools such as CT (computed transaxial tomographic) scans, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), blood tests and other specialized tests are also helpful in the diagnostic process.
What Happens Next?
After an evaluation has been performed, a plan of care is developed to include all the services a patient may require. We will inform you if additional testing is needed, or make recommendations regarding adjustments to current treatment regimens. We will make every effort to work in conjunction with you and your primary physician.
Request an appointment
For more information about seizures or to meet with our doctors, request an appointment at the Epilepsy Center.