Epilepsy and seizure treatment in Overland Park/Leawood, KS
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder where the brain generates electrical impulses that cause seizures or unusual sensations. This abnormal brain activity results in seizures, unusual behavior and loss of awareness or unconsciousness. Our specially trained neurologists offer a range of diagnostic procedures and treatment options for epilepsy.
For more information about neurological care and epilepsy treatment, call us at (913) 498-6652.
The Epilepsy Center at Menorah
The Epilepsy Center at Menorah offers specialized neurological care for adults and children 4 years old and older. Epileptologists (neurologists with advanced epilepsy and electroencephalogram training) form the core of our care team.
Our facility is a Level 3 Epilepsy Center accredited by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC). This designation means we provide:
- Basic medical, neuropsychological and psychosocial services to treat patients with refractory epilepsy
- Basic neurodiagnostic evaluations
- Implantation of the vagus nerve stimulator
- Noninvasive evaluation for epilepsy surgery
- Resective epilepsy surgery (surgery to remove brain tissue causing seizures)
Types of epilepsy seizures we treat
Specialists divide epilepsy seizures into two major groups: generalized and focal. Symptoms of epilepsy include:
- Body stiffens or jaws clamp shut
- Jerking or uncontrolled movements
- Loss of consciousness or awareness
- Repetitive motions
- Sudden falls and/or loss of muscle control/li>
- Uncontrolled emotions
- Uncontrolled sensations in vision, hearing, smelling and memory
Epilepsy and seizure treatments we offer
At The Epilepsy Center at Menorah, treatment begins by meeting with our epileptologists. Then, we conduct inpatient and outpatient imaging services, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs), computerized tomography (CT) scans, positron emission tomography (PET) scans and neurological studies. All studies are evaluated by an epileptologist and specialized neuroradiologists who interpret imaging. Finally, our specialists develop a treatment plan tailored to the unique needs of each patient.
Our epilepsy and seizure treatment services include:
- Adult and child ketogenic diet programs
- Antiepileptic medications to reduce the frequency and intensity of seizures
- Consultations from neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, psychiatrists, primary care physicians and social workers, as needed
- Inpatient video electroencephalogram (EEG) monitoring to characterize and diagnose seizures and epilepsy
- Outpatient video EEG ambulatory studies to better diagnose spells of altered consciousness and seizures
- Specialized neurology care with all studies interpreted by our epileptologists and experienced EEG technicians
Using the keto diet to manage epilepsy
Your doctor may recommend the ketogenic diet as an effective way to treat intractable epilepsy (epilepsy untreatable by medication). Created in the 1920s, the diet has successfully reduced seizure activity and improved quality of life.
Keto meal plan
The keto meal plan is a customized diet high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbohydrates that can help control seizures and minimize antiepileptic drugs. Epileptologists prescribe the diet and then work with patients' doctors and registered dietitians to carefully monitor results.
Keto diet benefits
The ketogenic diet provides several neurological health benefits, such as:
- Elevated ketone bodies in the blood, known as ketosis, which reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures
- Reduction in seizures (more than 50 percent of individuals on the ketogenic diet show at least a 50 percent reduction in seizure activity)
- Switching from glucose (carbohydrates) to fat as a fuel source for the body, which produces ketone bodies
Adult ketogenic diet program
While many hospitals provide a ketogenic diet program for infants and children, few offer the same support for adults. We developed a program for young adults currently enrolled in a pediatric keto program. Our registered dietitians work closely with patients' primary care doctors to provide:
- Access to an interactive meal program to track and plan meals
- Customized keto diet plans
- Customized menus based on labs and seizure activity
- Individual nutrition counseling sessions to discuss food intake and diet compliance
Video EEG monitoring
Inpatient and outpatient video EEG monitoring is available at Menorah Medical Center with experienced technicians, caring staff and state-of-the-art equipment. All studies are interpreted by a specialized neurologist with advanced epilepsy and EEG training.
We use video EEG monitoring to evaluate:
- Altered mental status / confusional spells.
- Syncope or “fainting.”
- Abnormal movements or convulsions.
- Abnormal sleep behaviors.
- Seizures that occur frequently.
- Patients with normal or unclear routine EEG.
- Suspected non-epileptic spells or “pseudoseizures.”
- Whether a patient may benefit from a vagus nerve stimulator.
- Whether a patient may benefit from epilepsy surgery.
We offer video EEG monitoring on an inpatient basis. These patients can expect:
- Typically three to five day elective admission to Menorah Medical Center.
- Private rooms and care providers familiar with the technology.
- Anti-seizure medication can be safely withdrawn if needed to provoke a seizure.
- The “gold standard” of video EEG testing.
- Consultation with other physician specialists, as needed, such as internal medicine, cardiology or psychiatry depending upon the diagnosis.
Ambulatory EEG monitoring is used with video technology on an outpatient basis, with services including:
- Convenient, portable technology, which the patient wears for 48 to 72 hours.
- A partnership with Sleep Med Digitrace provides the best ambulatory technology available, and is the only device with validation studies proving its effectiveness.
- All studies include video and EEG data.
- Any physician can order the studies.
When a seizure occurs, it's important to know how you can help. First aid for seizures varies depending on the type: convulsive or non-convulsive. There are also specific safety protocols patients with seizure disorders should follow to minimize risk for an accident or injury.
First aid for convulsive seizures
During a generalized tonic-clonic or grand mal seizure, the person suddenly falls to the ground and has a convulsive seizure. It is essential to protect the person from injury, which can be done by following these guidelines:
- Keep calm and reassure other people who may be nearby.
- Don’t hold the person down or try to stop their movements.
- Clear the area around the person of anything hard or sharp.
- Loosen ties or anything around the neck that may make breathing difficult.
- Put something flat and soft, like a folded jacket, under the head.
- Turn the person gently on their side to help keep the airway clear.
- Do not try to force the mouth open with any hard implement or with fingers. A person having a seizure cannot swallow their tongue. Efforts to hold the tongue down can injure teeth or jaw.
- Don’t attempt artificial respiration except in the unlikely event that a person does not start breathing again after the seizure has stopped.
- Stay with the person until the seizure ends naturally.
- Be friendly and reassuring as consciousness returns.
- Offer to call a taxi, friend or relative to help the person get home if they seem confused or unable to get home.
First aid for non-convulsive seizures
If a person has brief periods of staring, confusion or automatic behavior, the best thing to do is:
- Watch the person carefully and explain to others what is happening. People who don’t recognize this behavior as a seizure may think the dazed person is intoxicated with drugs or alcohol.
- Speak quietly and calmly in a friendly way.
- Guide the person away from any danger, such as steps, a busy highway or a hot stove. Do not grab or hold onto the person unless there is an immediate threat of danger. People having this kind of seizure are on “automatic pilot” as far as their movements are concerned. They may struggle or lash out at the person who is trying to help them.
- Stay with the person until consciousness returns and offer to help them find a safe way to return home.
Safety issues for people with seizures
Patients at risk of seizures must exercise special caution toward any activity that would create additional injury if a seizure were to occur. Common precautions include:
- Avoid driving. Most states restrict driving entirely unless a person has been free of seizures for at least six months.
- Avoid high places where one could fall.
- Avoid heavy machinery and power tools that could be harmful.
- Avoid swimming alone or without a lifeguard.
- Avoid taking a bath without constant supervision. Some patients have a convulsive seizure and afterward, can drown in bath water. Showers are safe.
Pregnancy produces normal births in at least 90 percent of women with epilepsy. However, pregnancy should be planned and special precautions and monitoring may be required to have the best possible outcome.
Additional resources for seizure disorders and epilepsy information
There are a variety of organizations that provide additional support for patients dealing with epilepsy or other type of seizure disorder. We have provided several credible sources below, so you can further your knowledge and gain access to community resources.
Epilepsy Foundation of America
The national organization for patients and families with seizure disorders and epilepsy. Free information, free counseling, and medication assistance programs are available. Local chapters also offer other support services and educational programs. The local chapter in Kansas City is listed below:
Additional educational information is available at:
Talk About It!—A new website for young patients and their families, helping to dispel the myths about living with seizure disorders.
Epilepsy Foundation—A helpful resource for general information and treatment.
Epilepsy Advocate—Information and resources regarding living with epilepsy, including a magazine publication.