The patient is continuously monitored with cameras in a monitoring unit and their behaviour is related to the EEG which is recorded at the same time. On the screen, the physician sees the patient on one side and the EEG on the other side, and both are digitally recorded.
High-resolution imaging helps find the place where seizures develop. Imaging technology is advancing rapidly both in terms of structure (magnetic resonance imaging) and in terms of functionality (positron emission tomography). The Epilepsy Centre has state-of-the-art devices at its disposal.
Quite often, epilepsy patients also suffer from cognitive functional disorders. With the help of psychological tests it is possible to draw conclusions as to where the epilepsy originates.
If surgery is planned, the Wada test supplies important information as to what extent there is a risk of memory and speech functions deteriorating and how surgery should be planned to minimise this risk.
Patients who have been treated at our outpatient clinic and who may be eligible for surgery are admitted as inpatients to undergo diagnostic examinations. They are monitored, i.e. the patient's behaviour is recorded on camera while brain waves are recorded via surface EEG electrodes attached to the scalp.
Further diagnostic measures are conducted during the inpatient stay, including detailed neuropsychological testing in all cases and a high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging scan of the brain if such a scan has not already been performed.
If required, further imaging scans are conducted.
Functional tests such as the Wada test and MEG, a diagnosis tool which only a few hospitals in Europe have at their disposal, may also be used in this part of the diagnostic process.
If all these procedures are inconclusive, invasive video-EEG monitoring is used where EEG electrodes are implanted on the brain surface beneath the cranial bone by surgery.
A final decision of whether, and if so, which surgical methods are suitable can only be made once all the required diagnostic methods have been completed. The decision is made at the interdisciplinary conference, where medical experts from all relevant fields and psychologists discuss the findings.