Our Epilepsy Specialists
Care for Every Type of Seizure
A seizure is an uncontrolled, sudden electrical disturbance in the brain that can affect movement, feeling, awareness, and behavior. Epilepsy is a disorder of recurrent and unprovoked seizures. “Provoked” seizures can result from brain injury, infections, stroke, or tumors. At Hackensack University Medical Center, the epilepsy team evaluates and treats people with all types of seizures, including:
- Tonic-clonic seizures (“grand mal”): shaking and stiffening of the arms and legs.
- Drop seizures (“atonic seizures”): sudden falling to the ground.
- Absence seizures (“petit mal”): brief staring spells, at times associated with eyelid flutter or lip smacking.
- Myoclonic seizures: lightning-fast jerking of the arms or legs.
- Tonic seizures: stiffening of the arms and legs.
- Clonic seizures: rhythmic jerking of the arms and legs.
- Focal seizures, which arise in one area of the brain and can spread to other areas. They include those with “impaired consciousness” (associated with staring or repetitive movements) or without impaired consciousness (not associated with impaired awareness and limited to motor symptoms or sensations of flashing lights, numbness or tingling, or emotional symptoms such as anxiety, fear, or altered perception of reality).
Special Epilepsy Monitoring Units for Adults and Children
In our advanced epilepsy monitoring units (EMU), our epileptologists assess seizures by imaging the brain in various ways, recording and analyzing the electrical activity using 24-hour video EEG, and running various laboratory tests to identify underlying problems. The goal is to determine the type, cause (if known), and location of your seizures, so we can choose the most effective therapies. We have separate EMUs for adults and pediatric patients, both staffed by experienced epilepsy physicians, nurses, and EEG technologists.
- The Adult Epilepsy Monitoring Unit is a segment of the adult neurology ward in the Mark D. Schlesinger Pavilion at Hackensack University Medical Center. The ward is designed to diagnose and treat adult patients with epilepsy and other types of seizures.
- The Pediatric Epilepsy Monitoring Unit in the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital the only dedicated EMU in New Jersey for children with seizures. The Pediatric EMU team takes a multidisciplinary approach to address all of a child’s needs and includes child life specialists, social workers, and nurse-discharge planners. Patients and their families stay in state-of-the-art rooms dedicated to safety and comfort. Each room is equipped with a large screen TV with entertainment features for your child, as well as Internet access so you and your child can stay in touch with friends and family members. Every room has its own bathroom and shower. The Pediatric EMU is on the same hall as the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), with PICU staff readily available to patients who require more intensive care and monitoring.
- Outpatient care. Our epileptologists follow patients not just in the hospital, but also in their practices that are affiliated with Hackensack University Medical Center. Patients benefit from this continuity of care.