Epilepsy Center Receives Highest Level Designation by National Association of Epilepsy Centers

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center has received designation as a level-four epilepsy center by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC). This is the highest designation a comprehensive epilepsy center can receive in the nation.

July 2, 2012

Patients Can Expect the Highest Level of Care

(Washington, D.C.) — MedStar Georgetown University Hospital’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center has received designation as a level-four epilepsy center by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC). This is the highest designation a comprehensive epilepsy center can receive in the nation.

As a level-four center, MedStar Georgetown is able to successfully handle some of the most complex epilepsy cases, giving patients the highest level of medical and surgical evaluation and treatments.

“We are the only level-four center in the District, and receiving this distinction will have a great impact on our community,” said Dr. William Bell, director of MedStar Georgetown’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. “Epilepsy can be difficult to treat as each case is different, but, now, our hospital is being publically regarded for providing the most innovative treatments to patients who have this disease.”

The NAEC developed the levels of care as a tool for evaluating the quality of a specialized epilepsy program. Currently, NAEC identifies four levels of care with a level-four center offering more extensive medical, neuropsychological and psychosocial treatments.

Epilepsy occurs when there is abnormal electrical activity in the brain that can lead to seizures. There are more than twenty types of seizures, and in some cases, there are no known causes for the disease. In total, more than 2.8 million Americans have epilepsy, for which there is no cure.

“One in 200 people is at-risk for a diagnosis with epilepsy at some point in their lifetime,” said Bell. “While medications and treatment for epilepsy can help manage some symptoms, there are still a high percentage of patients who do not respond to epilepsy medication, creating the need for a level-four center.”

Following a rigorous assessment, MedStar Georgetown received the level-four designation by meeting the requirements and criteria set forth by the NAEC. As a level-four center, patients can expect:

  • More complex methods of intensive neurodiagnostic monitoring
  • More extensive medical, neuropsychological and psychosocial treatments
  • Complete evaluations for epilepsy and surgery
  • A broad range of surgical procedures, including complex resective epilepsy surgery

“As the prevalence of epilepsy grows, the need for a level-four center in the community is dramatic,” said Bell. “MedStar Georgetown is a leading academic medical center with access to research and clinical trials that will undoubtedly provide improved treatment options for those patients who are living with epilepsy.”

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