The Epilepsy Center
We strive to provide patients with the best seizure control possible, and we believe that patients should be well-informed about their diagnosis and actively participate in their treatment decisions.
At our center, we provide a wide range of neurodiagnostic studies. An electroencephalogram (EEG) is especially important to evaluate patients with epilepsy. It records the brain electrical activity and can provide support for the diagnosis and type of epilepsy. EEGs also can help localize the region of the brain where a seizure is originating.
Our board-certified and fellowship trained physician, Dr. John Melchert, is located at UnityPoint Clinic Multi-Specialty within Iowa Methodist Medical Center in downtown Des Moines, Iowa.
The Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) at Iowa Methodist
After a standard EEG, if the nature of a patient's spells is still in doubt, simultaneous video and brain wave recording is the best tool for diagnosis. This type of study is called video electroencephalography (Video EEG). It requires a brief hospital stay in a specialized inpatient care unit.
In our 2-bed epilepsy monitoring unit at Iowa Methodist Medical Center, unique in central Iowa, we can achieve high-quality video EEG studies to help confirm the nature of a patient's spells, which helps to guide treatment. Video-EEGs are also useful to diagnose episodic events such as epileptic seizures, fainting or black-out spells, spells of unknown origin, confusion, hallucinations or behavior problems.
Additional features of our EMU include:
- The patient's cognitive status and orientation are monitored by qualified nurses during and immediately after spells.
- The patient's seizure medications can be safely discontinued to allow for recording of spells.
- Other studies available include a speech-language evaluation or specialized MRI testing (particularly useful for surgical candidates).