What’s an Epilepsy Center?

As you progress through your epilepsy treatment, you may visit an epilepsy center. Here’s some information about this kind of medical facility. 

As you progress though your epilepsy treatment, you may undergo treatment at an epilepsy center. What makes an epilepsy center different from any other medical facility?  Glad you asked…

The National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC) puts forth certain requirements that a hospital’s epilepsy program must meet in order for it to be an accredited epilepsy center. Each program must renew their accreditation yearly in order to maintain their status.

The 4 standards of care

The 4 standards of epilepsy care, as defined by the NAEC1, are:

Level 1: Care provided by an emergency room or by a general physician.

Level 2: Care provided by a general neurologist for epilepsy.

Level 3: Basic care for drug-resistant epilepsy provided by an epileptologist or specialized neurologist. This can include basic diagnostic evaluations and testing, psychological and social services, and straight-forward epilepsy surgery.

Level 4: More advanced care for drug-resistant epilepsy provided by an epileptologist or specialized neurologist. These centers offer a wide spectrum of diagnostic evaluation, testing, and complex epilepsy surgery. 

Why go to a specialized epilepsy center?

A level 3 or 4 epilepsy center can provide more advanced care if you have drug-resistant epilepsy. According to the NAEC guidelines, you should request a referral to a neurologist or epilepsy center if your primary care provider has not been able to help control your seizures after 3 months.1 You should request a referral to an accredited epilepsy center if your neurologist has not been able to help control your seizures after 12 months.1

An epileptologist at an accredited epilepsy center should be able to provide specialized care for you and your particular type of epilepsy. They will work with you, and their care team, to determine what tests and treatments can be performed to help treat your epilepsy.

Click here to visit the NAEC’s “Find an Epilepsy Center” directory if you would like to find an epilepsy center near you.  

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  1. (n.d.) What is an Epilepsy Center? National Association of Epilepsy Centers. https://www.naec-epilepsy.org/about-epilepsy-centers/what-is-an-epilepsy-center/

Content reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Jiyeoun Yoo, MD, FAES, FACNS 

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