The fourth most common neurological disorder in the United States, epilepsy affects individuals of all ages, from newborn babies through older adults. Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain characterized by a tendency toward recurrent seizures and can be due to a wide range of causes that vary in severity and duration. In addition to seizures, epilepsy includes the medical, cognitive, psychological and social complications of the condition and can be associated with increased risk for depression, anxiety, migraine headaches, learning disabilities in children, and changes in memory, mood, personality, attention, and concentration in adults. There can be prominent effects on female health including reproduction and fertility, and in more severe cases, adverse effects on independence including driving and employment.
In response to the range of ways that epilepsy can affect an individual’s life, we have developed a specialized clinic that addressed the full spectrum of needs of people with epilepsy with a comprehensive team approach. This program has earned the highest rating as a Level 4 National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC) site. This identifies our program as meeting all the needs of patients with epilepsy.
The Virginia Epilepsy and Neurodevelopmental Clinic is a special service offered by our epilepsy specialists (epileptologists), Dr. Paul D. Lyons and Dr. J. Craig Henry. Working with Nurse Practitioners Robert Fox, and Rachael Valcour, we see individuals across all ages and disease severities in inpatient and outpatient settings, including neonates in the ICU.
Our collaborative approach to epilepsy care creates a program that is greater than the sum of its parts. We work with an entire team of experts to provide the best quality of life for our patients.
Our multidisciplinary team includes:
- Neuroimaging including brain SPECT, PET, Wada, and functional MRI
- Specialized nurses
- Research nurses
Examples of specific epilepsy syndromes that are addressed through the expertise of this program include the following:
- Infantile spasms and West Syndrome
- Childhood absence epilepsy
- Nocturnal or sleep-onset seizures including frontal lobe and temporal lobe epilepsy
- Childhood epileptic encephalopathies involving academic and cognitive regression
- Pharmacologically refractory epilepsy, or seizures that fail to respond to two or more appropriate medications
- Neuropsychological manifestations of epilepsy and seizures.
As part of a comprehensive program, we have developed the Virginia Comprehensive Epilepsy Program to provide a complete range of diagnostic and treatment services for people with epilepsy, both as inpatients and outpatients. An integral part of this program is a seamless working relationship between the Virginia Epilepsy and Neurodevelopmental Clinic with Dr. Lee Selznick, a functional neurosurgeon at the Virginia Brain and Spine Center. Dr. Lyons and Dr. Selznick, co-directors of the Virginia Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, developed an inpatient epilepsy program with the Winchester Medical Center and Valley Health. Through this program, we provide:
- Epilepsy diagnostic evaluations.
- Expert medical treatment.
- Medical device implantation.
- Dietary treatment programs including the ketogenic diet.
- Intracranial epilepsy surgery.
We offer individuals in our program the highest level of neurological care including access to new clinical research trials.
- New Onset Seizure Clinic
- Adult Adolescent & Pediatric Clinic
- Epilepsy Surgical Program (Medical Devices: Vagal nerve stimulator and NeuroPace)
- Intracranial Surgery (Laser Surgery)
- Geriatric Epilepsy Program
- Dietary Treatment Program (Ketogenic Diet, Modified Atkins Diet, and Low Glycemic Index Diet)
- Women’s Health Issues