Epilepsy Action Guides:
Epilepsy Scotland Guides :
Epilepsy is the second commonest chronic neurological condition in Scotland with approximately 40,000 people suffering from the condition. It is defined as repeated seizures in the brain as a result of disturbances of electrical activity of the brain. There are many causes of seizures and having a single seizure does not necessarily lead to a diagnosis of epilepsy. Epilepsy can be diagnosed at any age.
There are around 6000 adults in Lothian with a diagnosis of epilepsy.
Epilepsy can have wide ranging effects on every aspects of people’s lives which is why we believe it is imperative where possible to control patient’s seizures. Most people with epilepsy have their seizures well controlled by treatment with anti-epileptic drugs.
In about 30% of cases of people diagnosed with epilepsy our first drug does not work. In which case we discuss further drug treatment with you. Sometimes at that point we wish to do further examinations such as video-telemetry where we record your seizures. This is often enough to confirm that different treatment approach is required
In a few people surgery can be an effective treatment.
About our services
All consultant neurologists provide care for people with seizures and with epilepsy.
There are First Seizure Clinics for people with suspected first seizure or with a new diagnosis of epilepsy as it is important that people are seen as quickly as possible.
There are specialist epilepsy services for adults who have complex epilepsy, including the Specialist Epilepsy Nurse Service, with specialist clinics including an emergency clinic for people with sudden deterioration in seizure control.
There is a specialist epilepsy service for adults with a learning disability which is part of NHS Lothian Learning Disability Service.
Once the diagnosis is made and treatment commenced, most people will receive on-going care and review from their general practice. The specialist teams also provide support, training and advice to other clinicians, neurologists, general practitioners and practice nurses who are involved in the care of people with epilepsy.
Looking after people with epilepsy requires a team approach.
Who are the team?
During your journey with us you will meet:
1)Consultant neurologist - their job is to confirm you have epilepsy which is very important, and then to find out what sort of epilepsy you have because this will help us decide which treatment is best for you
2) EEG physiologists – these are scienfitic officers who are
trained in making physiological measurements who will do your
3) Epilepsy Specialist Nurses - their role is to see you after diagnosis, explain more about epilepsy and guide you thtrought the process of starting on anti-epileptic drugs or changing from one drug to another.
We know that some people with epilepsy have problems with memory or become anxious and depressed so we have a standard approach to asking about these issues. If we feel that you need support for these problems we can provide some support and psychological therapy directly.
If we think you are one of the very small number of people who may benefit from surgery, then all of the people described above come together to record your seizures, and analyse them, look again at your MRI scans, talk to you about your mood and your understanding of what epilepsy surgery entails and what it can and cannot achieve.