Comprehensive Services and Treatments for Expert Epilepsy Care for Children of All Ages

Arkansas Children’s provides expert care for the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy and seizure disorders in children that are appropriate for each child at their individual phase of growth and development. Our pediatric epilepsy specialists, called epileptologists, provide care for infants, toddlers, children, adolescents, teenagers and young adults, including:

  • Expert Evaluation: Testing and monitoring will allow for an individualized treatment plan
  • Testing and Monitoring
    • Electroencephalogram (EEG) testing and monitoring
    • Inpatient epilepsy monitoring unit
    • Intracranial EEG monitoring
    • Intracranial brain mapping
    • 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
    • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
    • Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
    • Neuropsychology Testing
  • Pediatric Specific Medications and Therapies
    • Anti-epileptic medications
    • Ketogenic and modified Atkins diets
  • Surgical Options
    • Intracranial electrode placement
    • Resective surgery
    • Temporal lobectomy
    • Corpus callosotomy
    • Hemispherectomy
    • Vagus Nerve Stimulation

Safe and Effective Medication Management

In many cases, medication management is all that will be needed for the long-term management of childhood epilepsy. Because we are focused only on the care of children, we take a very personalized care approach for seizure medication dosage for each child’s unique needs. Our team includes specially trained pediatric pharmacists to assure that all medications prescribed to children are safe, effective and properly dosed for each patient based on their appropriate age.

Nutritional Support for Treatment of Seizures

Nutritional support can be a critical component of epilepsy management. By basically limiting carbohydrates, research has shown that either a ketogenic diet which is high fat and used for babies through formula or when tube feeding is required, or a modified Atkins diet which restricts carbohydrates are successful to help limit seizure activity. This research has shown that both diets are equally advantageous or effective and we work with patients and families to determine which is easier to manage day to day for individual patient needs.

The ketogenic diet is essentially a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates yet provides enough protein for growth. While most children with seizures are treated with medicine, in some cases the medicine doesn’t stop the seizures or produces an unwanted side effect. The ketogenic diet can be used to treat seizures, and research has indicated large levels of ketones can help reduce some childhood seizures such as myoclonic, absence and generalized tonic-clonic or grand mal seizures, as well as the type of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.

Our specially trained clinical nutritionist and neurologist coordinate any dietary needs to help patients and families understand how to implement the carbohydrate restricted diets into your child’s daily living.

Surgical Options for Seizure Management

At Arkansas Children’s, our skilled board-certified and fellowship trained pediatric neurosurgeons are specifically trained for the surgical treatment of epilepsy in children. In many cases, surgical intervention can stop seizures completely. Our team carefully evaluates the cause of seizures and the frequency, severity and duration of seizures. With the identification of the area of the brain where the seizures start, the surgical removal of the seizure focus, called a temporal lobe resection, can be considered to remove the area that controls seizures.

Another surgical option, Vagus Nerve Stimulation, is a result of the surgical placement of the Vagus Nerve Stimulator, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1997. As another treatment option for seizures, the epilepsy specialists at Arkansas Children’s have surgically placed these small devices regularly since their approval. The stimulator is a device that is placed under the left side of the chest. It has soft, flexible wires, or leads, that travel under the skin and up the neck, wrapping around the vagus nerve in the neck. This nerve carries information to the brain, and the device emits a mild, brief current or stimulation to the vagus nerve within a regular interval. The recipient of the stimulator can carry a special magnet to trigger extra stimulation to stop or lessen a seizure.

Enhanced Patient Care at Comprehensive Epilepsy Program

At Arkansas Children’s, our goal is an exceptional patient experience and enhanced patient care. We know caring for a child with any medical issue impacts the whole family so we provide expert care that is convenient for families. Our specially trained epileptologists, neurologists and neurosurgeons come to Arkansas Children’s regional locations so children can see our specialists closer to home. Also, we provide electroencephalogram (EEG) testing right in our clinics – often the same day as your appointment – so our team can closely monitor any seizure activity through the detection of any abnormalities of the brain’s activity.

Our goal is your goal – for the best quality of life for your child through enhanced comprehensive epilepsy care. We are here to help understand what to tell your doctor. Because seizures don’t often happen in the doctor’s office, it is important to document the sequence of any seizure – before, during and after – how long it lasted and how long it took for your child to recover. Because our specialists are epilepsy experts, our team can answer your questions and we can talk through any concerns for epilepsy management.

For Appointments or Information about the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Arkansas Children’s

We offer epilepsy care at our convenient locations – in NW Arkansas and NE Arkansas – providing expert care that reaches across the entire state.

For more information or to make an appointment with one of our epilepsy specialists at Arkansas Children’s Neuroscience Center, please contact us at 501-364-4000 or fax to 501-364-5440.