Video EEG Monitoring
Patient Information Guide
Welcome to the Maryland Epilepsy Center. Adults will be admitted to the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) on the 4th floor of the Homer Gudelsky Building for continuous video-EEG monitoring. Children will be admitted to the Pediatric Department on the 5th floor of the North Hospital.
During your stay we will be monitoring your seizure activity so that the doctors can better evaluate and treat your disorder. The length of stay will depend on the time needed to properly monitor your seizure activity. Although this varies among patients, the average stay is usually one week.
What is Video-EEG Monitoring?
Video-EEG monitoring has two components:
- Video: A camera is used to visually record you continuously while at the same time the EEG is recording your brain activity. There is a TV monitor with a split screen in your room; the screen shows your EEG on one side and the video recording of you on the other side. There is a connected TV monitor at the nurses? station on 4 IMC which shows the same recording so that you can be monitored at all times. By using the video in connection with the EEG, we can see exactly what happens to you physically when you are having a typical spell or seizure. Seeing what happens helps us make a more accurate diagnosis of your seizure type.
- EEG: You will have scalp electrodes glued to your scalp exactly as it is done for routine EEG. The only difference is that for continuous 24-hour recordings, the glue is stronger and will hold for a longer period of time. (Your hair, of course, must be clean, dry and free of all hair care products.) A computer monitors the EEG recording continuously so that your seizure activity is recorded even if you are not aware of seizure activity. This recording gives us a more accurate count of seizures and allows us to compare what is physically happening to you with what is recorded on the EEG.
Who Needs Video-EEG Monitoring?
People have video-EEG monitoring for several reasons:
- We need more information about the type of seizures you are having. Drug treatment for epilepsy is based on matching the most appropriate drug to your seizure type. The more accurately we are able to classify your seizure type, the better your chances are of achieving seizure control.
- You are having episodes or attacks for which the cause is not clear. These may be seizures but can be due to other physical or emotional causes. If there are not clear EEG changes taking place when the episodes occur, we will look for other causes and may recommend that other tests be done or other forms of treatment pursued.
- We need to determine if you have a type of seizure that could be treated with surgery. Seizure surgery is most successful when we are able to localize one area of seizure onset in the brain.
Evaluating Your Seizures:
In order to evaluate your seizure disorder, there are several techniques which may be used:
- Your seizure medication may be gradually reduced or stopped before or during you admission.
- You may be asked to stay up late at night. Lack of sleep can produce an onset of seizures in some people.
For more information, see: Preparing for Your EMU Admission
University Of Maryland Epilepsy Center is recognized by the NAEC as a Level 4 epilepsy center. Level 4 epilepsy centers have the professional expertise and facilities to provide the highest level medical and surgical evaluation and treatment for patients with complex epilepsy.