Adolescent Epilepsy Care
Specialists in the Adolescent Epilepsy Center assess all the physical, behavioral and social factors that affect teens’ wellness and seizure control. We provide comprehensive, holistic care.
UCLA Health approach to epilepsy in teens
Specialists in the Adolescent Epilepsy Center provide expert, whole-person care for teens with epilepsy. We understand that seizures are just one piece of the puzzle in treating epilepsy. Our specialists seek to understand all factors that affect your child’s well-being, which helps determine the best course of treatment.
Highlights of our program include:
Holistic approach: Our team uses a holistic care model, meaning that we look at all the biological, psychological and social factors that affect your teen’s wellness. Issues such as depression, anxiety, learning disabilities, medication side effects and social challenges are all just as important to your child’s quality of life as seizure control.
Extensive resources: A social worker and occupational therapist focus on supporting your child and family outside of the medical setting. For example, we can help advocate for individualized education plans (IEPs), assist with college or job applications and offer tools to help teens feel more empowered during day-to-day activities.
Detailed diagnostic workups: We use a full range of diagnostic techniques to accurately identify a seizure’s cause and location. For example, MRI techniques created at UCLA Health allow us to detect small brain lesions that can be difficult to locate with other tools. In-depth neuropsychology evaluations help us assess risks and provide treatment recommendations.
Our specialists help improve quality of life, in addition to offering treatments to control seizures in teens. We want teens to feel empowered to be their best. Our role is to help our patients live productive and meaningful lives while managing seizures. Additional services offered through the Adolescent Epilepsy Center include:
We offer individualized nutrition counseling to promote overall health and potentially help manage seizures. Registered dietitians work with teens to create a personalized nutrition plan based on food preferences, goals and research-based nutrition strategies that can help manage seizures. During follow-up sessions, we discuss what may or may not be working and adjust eating plans accordingly.
Our occupational therapists (OTs) help teenagers perform all the activities they need and want to do on a daily basis. This may include support and guidance with:
- Completing schoolwork or chores
- Finding and participating in hobbies
- Managing medications and treatment
- Talking with friends about an epilepsy diagnosis
- Transitioning to a job or college
Teens and families may require additional support outside of our clinic. We can connect your family with other services, including:
- Advocacy groups
- Community outreach education programs
- Home health aides
- Insurance benefits
- Referrals to psychologists and other mental health providers
- Respite centers
- Special education programs
- Support groups
- Vocational rehabilitation centers
Our pediatric epilepsy providers work closely with adult epilepsy specialists to ensure that teens continue receiving the care they need as they grow into adults. We also partner with community physicians to find the best fit for each patient as they start to see adult specialists. Our transitional services help ensure that teens don’t experience any gaps in care as they mature out of our pediatric programs.
Epilepsy diagnosis and treatment
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes repeat episodes of atypical nerve activity in the brain. These episodes are known as seizures and can cause a wide range of symptoms, from irregular behaviors to sensory disturbances, convulsions or loss of consciousness.
We diagnose and treat all types of epilepsy and seizures in adolescents. Our pediatric epilepsy team uses state-of-the-art tools to evaluate seizures and create customized treatment plans. Learn more about pediatric epilepsy types, tests and treatments.
We specialize in supporting teens and young adults with epilepsy. Our team offers an extensive range of resources with an emphasis on maintaining a high quality of life. Occupational therapists, registered dietitians and social workers expertly assess and guide teens, helping to improve multiple factors that affect their overall well-being.