Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder marked by recurrent, unprovoked seizures. Epilepsy is a common condition that may occur as a result of a genetic disorder or may be caused by a traumatic brain injury.

Overview and Symptoms

Proper diagnosis starts with a review your symptoms and medical history. Since different types of seizures respond to different treatment options, your doctor may order several tests to diagnose epilepsy and determine the cause of your specific seizures. These tests may include:

  • Neurological examination
  • Blood tests
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Functional MRI (fMRI)
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT)
  • Neuropsychological tests


BIDMC's Epilepsy Clinic is designated as a Level-4 center, the highest level attainable, by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC). A Level-4 center provides advanced medical, neuropsychological, and psychosocial services to treat patients, and more complex forms of neurodiagnostics. Level-4 centers also offer complete evaluation for epilepsy and provide a broad range of surgical procedures.

In keeping with the NAEC standards, BIDMC's Epilepsy Clinic staff includes board-certified epileptologists, neurosurgical specialists in epilepsy-related surgical procedures, clinical neuropsychologists, neuropsychiatrists, social workers, and clinical epilepsy nurses. Staff collaborates with BIDMC's Cognitive Neurology Division, Neuroendocrinology and Neuroradiology.


The Department of Neurology provides a full range of both inpatient and outpatient neurological services through a variety of subspecialty clinics, including  Cognitive Neurology, Epilepsy, Stroke, Neuromuscular Disease, Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders, Neuro-ophthalmology, Neuro-oncology, Neuro-HIV, Neurogenetics, Multiple Sclerosis, and Sleep Disorders.

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