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When you or your loved one is facing epilepsy or a seizure disorder, you need care from specialists who can pinpoint where the seizures are coming from and deliver the latest, most effective treatments. At Atrium Health Neurosciences Institute, we’re here for you, whether you’ve just had your first seizure or have endured epilepsy for years.

With the highest level of accreditation from the National Association of Epilepsy Centers, we offer comprehensive care that includes advanced testing, leading-edge therapies and compassionate support. Our renowned experts will put their experience to work for you, designing a customized treatment plan that gives you the best chance of controlling your seizures and maximizing your quality of life.

Why choose Atrium Health Neurosciences Institute

  1. Recognized epilepsy centers: We have Level 3 and Level 4 epilepsy centers for both adults and children, recognized by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. This designation means we offer the highest level of care, including complex epilepsy monitoring and surgery.
  2. National accreditation: We also earned The Joint Commission Disease-Specific Certification for Epilepsy and EEG Lab accreditation from the American Board of Registered Evoked Potential and Electroencephalographic Technologists (ABRET).
  3. Expert team: We take a collaborative approach that ensures you receive the best treatment. Our team includes epileptologists, all of whom are board certified, as well as specially trained epileptologists, neuroradiologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, nurses, psychiatrists, social workers, child life specialists, patient nurse navigators and other experienced providers.
  4. Proven experience: We treat all types of epilepsy and seizures, including refractory epilepsy that hasn’t responded to treatment before. And we offer one of the Southeast’s only First Seizure Clinics, specializing in care for people who’ve had one seizure and need to know why – without being admitted to the hospital.
  5. More treatments: We offer a wide range of effective epilepsy treatments, and we’re continually working to find more through innovative research. Our in-house clinical trials give you access to the most promising breakthrough therapies before they’re widely available.
  6. Convenient care options: In addition to in-person appointments at locations throughout Charlotte, Concord and Pineville, we offer face-to-face video visits so you can see your provider without leaving home. We also offer virtual clinics that allow you to connect with an epilepsy specialist from your neurologist’s office in Shelby or Lincolnton.

Testing and treatments

With extensive experience treating even the most challenging cases, plus access to all the latest technologies, our epilepsy experts are ready to guide you through care that’s personalized for your needs.

Testing

Our first step is to find out the cause of your seizures. We take time to get to know you, including your medical history and how your symptoms are affecting your life. And we use advanced testing to make sure you get the right diagnosis and most effective treatment.

Our leading-edge diagnostic tools include:

  1. Imaging: We use advanced neuroimaging technologies like MRI, PET and SPECT scans to take pictures of your brain and look for changes that cause epilepsy. Our imaging specialists have evaluated hundreds of cases, so they know exactly what to look for.
  2. Electroencephalogram (EEG): EEG is a safe and painless test that monitors your brain’s electrical activity using small discs (electrodes) attached to the scalp. Routine EEG monitoring can take as little as 30 minutes. When more information is needed, we can do prolonged EEG monitoring over a longer period, from a couple of hours to several days.
  3. Video EEG (VEEG): By recording video during EEG monitoring, we can capture exactly what happens when you experience a seizure. This type of testing is often completed in a specialized epilepsy monitoring unit at the hospital, but we also have technology that allows some patients to do VEEG monitoring from the comfort of home.
  4. Intracranial EEG (iEEG): During this procedure, our neurosurgeons place electrodes in or on the surface of your brain to pinpoint where seizures begin.
  5. Stereo-EEG (SEEG): We’re one of the Southeast’s first clinics to offer SEEG, a minimally invasive technique that’s helping us locate seizures’ origin in more epilepsy cases than ever.
  6. Brain mapping: We use brain mapping tests to precisely identify where your seizures start, as well as what parts of your brain are responsible for importation functions like movement and speech.
  7. Wada testing: If you’re considering epilepsy surgery, a Wada test may be used to find out how important each side of your brain is for memory and language function.
  8. Neuropsychological testing: Doctors evaluate your motor skills, memory and cognition to understand your brain function, and how epilepsy affects it.

Treatments

With the right treatment, it’s possible to stop seizures from happening. We offer the full range of advanced therapies, and our team of specialists will create a highly personalized epilepsy care plan just for you.

Our treatment options include:

  1. Epilepsy medication: Most seizures can be controlled by taking one or more medications. We have the expertise to help you find what will work best to control your seizures with minimal side effects.
  2. Dietary therapy: Certain diets, like the ketogenic (or keto) diet, may help reduce the frequency of your seizures. Our team of dietitians, nurses and physicians will help you find and follow the right nutritional plan for you.
  3. Epilepsy surgery: We complete comprehensive testing to pinpoint where your seizures start and determine the safest, most effective surgical option. Our surgeons are specially trained in minimally invasive epilepsy procedures using laser ablation, lobe resection and corpus callosotomy, among other surgeries. A state-of-the-art robotic system helps surgeons perform extremely precise operations to give you the best results.
  4. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS): Neuromodulation devices like VNS are another option when seizures don’t respond to medication. VNS delivers electrical pulses that can prevent seizures. We’ve implanted hundreds of VNS devices, giving us the expertise to know when they’ll be most effective.
  5. Responsive neurostimulation (RNS): We’re leaders in using RNS, which is a neuromodulation device similar to a heart pacemaker. RNS continuously monitors your brain waves, and delivers small, precise pulses to stop seizure activity as soon as it begins.
  6. Deep brain stimulation (DBS): DBS is a type of neuromodulation therapy that involves placing electrodes in specific, deeper parts of the brain to help modify the abnormal brain activity causing your seizures. It’s effective for certain patients with drug-resistant epilepsy, and it’s a relatively low-risk procedure with a short hospital stay.

Support

Our goal isn’t just to treat your seizures – it’s to help you lead a fuller life. That’s why we provide ongoing support for your overall well-being. Our team can help you:

  • Navigate your care with assistance scheduling appointments, understanding treatment options and finding community resources.
  • Cope with mental health issues like depression, anxiety and fear of seizures.
  • Transition smoothly from pediatric epilepsy care at Atrium Health Levine Children’s to our adult treatment program.

We also offer epilepsy self-management programs, including Project UPLIFT and HOBSCOTCH. Led by our epilepsy navigators, these programs have been proven to improve memory problems, anxiety and depression to enhance quality of life and mental well-being.

To learn more, download our Project UPLIFT brochure (PDF) or our HOBSCOTCH program brochure (PDF). If you’re interested in joining either of these free programs, talk to your epilepsy provider or call the epilepsy nurse navigator for your area. For Charlotte, call 704-355-8857. For Concord, call 704-403-4130. You can also email us at AtriumEpilepsyGroup@AtriumHealth.org.

Research

Our neurological expertise is powered by leading-edge research. We participate in innovative studies to better understand what causes movement disorders and look for potential cures. And we apply the latest findings in real time to provide the best possible care.

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Find a clinical trial

Through our in-house neurosciences research, we give patients access to potentially breakthrough therapies.

We’re actively enrolling in several epilepsy research studies. To learn more about our available studies and find out if you may be eligible to join, talk to your doctor.

You can also use our search tool to explore all of Atrium Health’s current clinical trials.

Search clinical trials

For referring providers

When you refer a patient to us, we keep you involved and up to date throughout their care. To make a referral, call our dedicated physician referral line at 704-468-0101 or send a fax to 704-468-0022.

Frequently asked questions

Not necessarily. Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes seizures, but it’s also possible to have seizures (or seizure-like symptoms) for other reasons.

If you’ve had two or more unprovoked seizures, you may have epilepsy. But even if you’ve only had one seizure, it’s important to see a doctor for an evaluation. Our neurologists are experts at determining what’s causing your symptoms and helping you get them under control.

Epilepsy is almost always diagnosed through a series of imaging, tests and lab work. We commonly use electroencephalogram (EEG) to examine brainwaves and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine pictures of the brain.

There isn’t one “cure” that works for everyone with epilepsy. But with the right combination of treatments, many people are able to control their seizures.

There are 4 levels of epilepsy monitoring units, with Level 4 being the highest. We have a Level 4 epilepsy monitoring unit at Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, where we perform leading-edge surgeries for our most complex patients.

We also have Level 3 epilepsy monitoring units at Atrium Health Cabarrus and Atrium Health Levine Children’s Jeff Gordon Children’s Center in Concord.

Learn more from the National Association of Epilepsy Centers.

Atrium Health offers lifelong care for epilepsy. Atrium Health Levine Children’s is home to the region’s largest pediatric epilepsy team. When pediatric patients are ready to move to adult epilepsy care at Atrium Health Neurosciences Institute, we work together to ensure a seamless transition.


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