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Mercy Epilepsy Center

The Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California specializes in multidisciplinary epilepsy treatment and care. Designated as a Level IV Epilepsy Center by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers, the Mercy Epilepsy Center is led by director Edwin Cruz, MD, a neurologist with special expertise and training in epilepsy. Our comprehensive epilepsy imaging tools can help you better manage and treat your epilepsy.

Comprehensive Epilepsy Monitoring in Northern California

Our specialists at the Mercy Epilepsy Center use a combination of advanced epilepsy imaging tools to evaluate and diagnose patients.

Through ambulatory (outpatient) or inpatient video electroencephalography (EEGs), full-service detailed testing serves to clarify diagnoses, classify seizure types, localize seizure onset and help the epilepsy team evaluate patients for appropriate treatment, including alternative therapies or medications.

Ambulatory EEG: Harmless and Painless Epilepsy Monitoring

A routine EEG, typically done in an EEG Lab, records the brain's electrical activity as it fluctuates from second to second. But routine EEGs provide only a 20- to 40-minute sample of this activity.

If abnormal activity occurs in the brain only once every three or four hours, or only after an hour of sleep, a routine EEG may not show it. Doctors may need a longer recording that includes prolonged periods when patients are both awake and asleep.

This test, called an Ambulatory EEG, lets patients walk around and carry on normally while recording data and is especially helpful in epilepsy imaging. It is both harmless and painless.

Inpatient Video EEG for Epilepsy Imaging

Mercy Epilepsy Center's inpatient video EEG monitoring offers yet another option for epilepsy imaging. Typically lasting three to five days:

  • A camera will record physical activity while the patient is undergoing the EEG.
  • Nurses monitor the patient at all times, detecting and responding to all seizures that occur.
  • Videotaping these sessions allows doctors to see the seizures as they happen, watch them back and compare them to other incidents.
  • While in the inpatient epilepsy monitoring program, patients will also have a continuous EEG recording to help detect any seizure activity that occurs. This helps to determine where seizures begin so doctors can determine their nature. It also gives us information about how the brain functions between seizures and allows us to make an accurate count of your seizures to determine if you might have more than one type.

Neuropsychology in Epilepsy Treatment

The Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California is unique in that we provide a team of neuropsychologists who regularly work with patients with epilepsy. Our neuropsychologists evaluate brain function by objectively testing memory and thinking skills. This provides a detailed assessment of abilities, including strengths and weaknesses. Results from evaluations are used to assist with epilepsy treatment planning. Learn more about our neuropsychology services.

For assistance with a physician referral, call (888) 800-7688. To request additional information from someone at the Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California, email us today.


Former PGA Golfer Undergoes Surgery to Remove Seizure Causing Brain Tissue

Watch the ABC 10 Interview with patient J.T. Kohut and Neurosurgeon Cully Cobb, MD: PGA Golfer’s Battle with Epilepsy. Read more about J.T.’s case.