Winthrop Designated A Naec Level 4 Epilepsy Center

July 18, 2013

Patients living with epilepsy, a complex seizure disorder, face many challenges. Characterized by disabling seizures triggered by abnormal electrical activity in the brain cells, the disease can manifest itself through a range of symptoms from minor physical signs and thought disturbances to traumatic physical convulsions. Several types of seizures are easy to control, and many patients are well enough between episodes to lead normal lives. However, about 30% of the estimated 3 million Americans with epilepsy suffer with persistent seizures.

In an outstanding validation of its commitment to improving the lives of patients with epilepsy, The Winthrop Comprehensive Epilepsy Center was recently recognized by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC) as a Level 4 Epilepsy Center. Level 4 Epilepsy Centers have the professional expertise and facilities to provide the highest level medical and surgical evaluation and treatment for patients with complex epilepsy.

“This outstanding achievement is a testament to Winthrop’s dedicated team of epilepsy physicians – Dr. Alan Ettinger, Dr. David Friedman, Dr. Brian Snyder, Dr. Shicong Ye, Dr. Neil Schaul, Dr. Dmitriy Kolesnik, Dr. Vijaya Alturu and Dr. Mark Stecker, Chairman of Neurosciences,” said Malcolm Gottesman, MD, Chief of Neurology and Director of MS Treatment Program at Winthrop. “Their tireless commitment, and the support of a highly skilled interdisciplinary team, has advanced the care of countless patients with epilepsy.”

Winthrop’s dedicated Epilepsy Monitoring Unit was designed to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who experience hard-to-treat epileptic seizures. This highly specialized Unit offers prolonged 24/7 monitoring in order to identify the specific region of the brain in which each patient’s seizures originate and provide the appropriate treatment to reduce or eliminate the episodes. Among the features of the Unit is extended video electro-encephalography (EEG) monitoring, a highly effective diagnostic tool used to pinpoint the region of the brain where the patient’s seizures originate in order to establish an accurate diagnosis of epilepsy or other form of seizure disorder, which may require different treatments.

Winthrop’s Epilepsy Monitoring Unit is just one of a comprehensive range of diagnostic services for seizure disorder patients. Services also include positron emission tomography (PET), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and neuroimaging studies administered by a multidisciplinary team of specialists at Winthrop.

Winthrop’s Department for Neurosciences also offers specialized centers for Parkinson’s and other movement disorders. Physicians in Winthrop’s Department of Neurosciences are pioneering the use of technologically advanced approaches for diagnosis and treatment, including state-of-the-art surgical interventions and the latest generation of medication therapies. In fact, Winthrop is the only hospital on Long Island to offer Deep Brain Stimulation for movement disorders such as Parkinson’s. Beep Brain Stimulation is based on the premise that electronic stimulation of particular regions of the brain can improve the major symptoms of some movement disorders and may help reduce the amount of medication needed to manage symptoms more effectively.