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- The evaluation process combines medical, psychiatric, neuropsychological, educational and electrodiagnostic monitoring.
- The surgical work-up includes electroencephalograph (EEG)/video telemetry monitoring, positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, evoked potentials, psychiatric/neuropsychological studies, and developmental testing.
- Depending on the clinical circumstances, additional tests may include an intracarotid amobarbital spike suppression test, a Wada study, visual field examination and a linguistic evaluation.
- To determine eligibility for surgery, the attending pediatric neurologist makes a presentation at a weekly conference to the entire UCLA Clinical Neurophysiology group, which consists of experts in both pediatric and adult epilepsy.
- Children are considered possible surgical candidates if they meet a number of broad criteria:
- Seizures of severe enough frequency and/or intensity that they interfere significantly with development and/or daily living.
- Medical intractability (e.g., seizures do not respond to antiepileptic drugs at therapeutic levels).
- Because of developmental plasticity, if a child turns out to be a candidate for resective surgery, the earlier it is performed the better the outcome in terms of seizure control and development.
- The UCLA Pediatric Epilepsy Program provides comprehensive consultation or outpatient management of children with epilepsy.
- Many full-time pediatric neurology faculty are available for consultation. A child psychiatrist is also available for consultation for difficult psychiatric or behavioral problems associated with epilepsy.
- Doctors believing a child in their practice may be an appropriate candidate for a resective procedure should contact the pediatric neurology nurse coordinator to discuss the possibility of an evaluation for that child.
- Outpatient consultation, inpatient EEG/video telemetry monitoring or evaluation for surgery may be arranged by contacting our call center at (310) 825-0867. Note: IP EEG and evaluation for surgery require an OP consultation first.