Anticonvulsive medications are often the first line of treatment for epilepsy. Your team of experts will work with you to find the most beneficial medication with the least amount of side effects.
In 20 to 30% of epilepsy patients, surgery is warranted because they are experiencing refractory seizures (seizures which cannot be controlled by medication). Like medication options, many surgical options are also available. After surgery two-thirds of patients are seizure free, while 23% experience significant improvement in seizure frequency and severity.
For patients who don’t qualify for surgery, radiosurgery is an effective alternative. Radiosurgery, using Gamma Knife, is a procedure which can apply radiation to a pinpointed area of the brain with knife-like precision. This precision allows healthy brain tissue to be unaffected by the radiation.
Another treatment option is Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS). This is a computerized electrical device which is implanted under the skin of the chest. It controls seizures by sending electrical currents to the vagus nerve in the neck.
Because the OSF HealthCare Illinois Neurological Institute Epilepsy Center is at the forefront of epilepsy treatment, they are involved in several experimental drug trials. This may be another treatment option for those who qualify.
OSF INI also provides specialized epilepsy services for children through a partnership with Children’s Hospital of Illinois, on the OSF Saint Francis Medical Center campus in Peoria, Illinois.