In focus: Epilepsy care 2.0

Matthew Evans

Matthew M. Evans, D.O.
Epileptologist, Providence Epilepsy Services

July 28, 2014

Epilepsy is one of the most common, complex and misunderstood neurological disorders in the United States. Because it disproportionately affects older adults – our fastest-growing population – researchers estimate that the number of Americans at risk for developing epilepsy will swell in the coming years.1

Fortunately advances in diagnostics and treatments are helping patients with epilepsy control their seizures and improve their quality of life.

Under the leadership of Julia Toub, M.D., Providence Epilepsy Services has expanded our services with a team of physicians and support services to properly diagnose and treat both epileptic seizures and non-epileptic episodes. In addition to consultation and EEG testing, our services include neuropsychological testing, social work, specialized nursing and dietary support, and others.

Outpatient epilepsy services
The new outpatient epilepsy center is located at Providence Plaza next to Providence Portland Medical Center. Office hours also will be maintained at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center. We are accepting new patients and can provide urgent consultations. In addition, our routine EEG labs are located at Providence Portland, Providence St. Vincent and Providence Milwaukie Hospital. 

Inpatient epilepsy services
The epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU) will be transitioned this fall to Providence Portland, where we will have a four-bed unit. Patients are referred for diagnostic testing to determine type of epilepsy or whether convulsions are non-epileptic. The unit also assists in pre-surgical evaluation for epilepsy surgery and provides continuous video-EEG monitoring and cardiac telemetry.

Continuous critical care EEG monitoring, long-term monitoring on the units and stat EEGs are provided at all three hospitals, where 24/7 coverage allows real-time feedback to consulting physicians to help guide medical decision making. 

TeleEEG services
We are beginning to expand our center to include teleEEG, which allows hospitals in remote sites throughout Oregon to have their EEG studies interpreted by an epileptologist. The EEG is uploaded to our secure neurodiagnostics server and reported within minutes for a fast turnaround consult. Some hospitals currently wait several days to have routine studies interpreted.

For questions about how and when to refer a patient to our center, please call 503-215-8580.

  1. Wong VS, Bateman LM. Journal Club: Estimating risk for developing epilepsy: a population-based study in Rochester, Minnesota. Neurology. 2011;77(9):918-20