The re-designation certifies that WVU Healthcare provides an interdisciplinary and comprehensive approach to the diagnosis and treatment of patients with epilepsy, with the team's primary goal of achieving complete control or at least a reduction in the frequency of seizures and/or medical side effects in patients with intractable epilepsy.
According to the NAEC, a level 4 center provides complex forms of intensive neurodiagnostic monitoring and extensive medical, neuropsychological, and psychosocial treatment. Level 4 centers also offer a complete evaluation for epilepsy and surgery, including intracranial electrodes, and provide a broad range of surgical procedures for epilepsy.
WVU's Epilepsy Center, active since 2002, helps adult and pediatric patients throughout the region. Neurologists work with specialists from neurosurgery, neuropsychology, neuroradiology, and psychiatry to identify the part of the brain that is causing the epileptic seizures.
WVU Department of Neurology Chair and Professor John Brick, M.D., commended his staff members and thanked other departments for their interdisciplinary collaboration.
"This is just not a neurology program," Dr. Brick said. "It involves pediatrics, psychiatry, neurosurgery, and radiology. None of this could happen without these other departments and our wonderful staff."
The WVU Epilepsy Center is one of a kind in West Virginia, Brick added. "Level 4 is the highest level of certification by this organization," he said. “This label means that we help people from around the region and across the country, giving them the most up-to-date therapy for epilepsy.”
The center’s Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU), which opened Sept. 9, 2002, has served nearly 6,000 patients with intractable epilepsy and other neurological disorders.
“The EMU has operated nonstop for 24 hours a day since opening, thanks to our outstanding technicians and nurses,” said EMU Medical Director Adriana Palade, M.D. “The staff members are dedicated and compassionate.”