The Iowa Comprehensive Epilepsy Program (ICEP) provides specialty services to patients who have epilepsy and related conditions. The multi-disciplinary care team focuses on the diagnosis, education, and treatment of patients with:
- Epilepsy, including generalized and partial seizure types
- Non-epileptic seizures, including isolated or recurrent symptomatic seizures and psychogenic seizures (pseudoseizures)
- Other undiagnosed paroxysmal (episodic) events
- Undesirable side effects of anti-epileptic medication
Our services include:
- Adult Outpatient Clinic, a subspecialty clinic of the Department of Neurology.
- Pediatric Outpatient Clinic, which sees about 1,000 individual patients per year for evaluation and management of seizures, spells, and epilepsy. The pediatric epilepsy program offers a full array of epilepsy management.
- Research, screening and treatment for sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).
- Electroencephalography (EEG) Laboratory, which offers the principal diagnostic tools in the evaluation of epilepsy and seizures. Ours was one of the first five EEG laboratories in the country, and currently performs over 1,000 EEG studies a year.
- Epilepsy Monitoring Unit uses a simultaneous video and EEG recording to document one or more of a patient's typical spells, in order to determine their cause, nature and optimal treatment.
- Neuroradiology and functional neuroimaging help doctors evaluate patients for underlying structural or functional brain dysfunction.
- Magnetic resonance image (MRI) of the brain can be done with a specialized seizure protocol to identify brain lesions associated with seizures such as scar tissue or regions of abnormal brain development. Such findings may help guide therapy, by identifying patients who would more likely respond to surgical, rather than medical, treatment.
- Functional neuroimaging tests such as positron emission tomography (PET) and ictal and interictal single photon emission tomography (SPECT) are also available to measure blood flow or metabolism in areas of the brain.
- The epilepsy surgery program addresses seizures that are resistant to treatment with medications. If a patient's seizures arise from a single, identifiable area of the brain, the patient may be a candidate for epilepsy surgery, a neurosurgical procedure where the abnormal area producing the seizures is removed.
- The vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) is offered as a therapeutic option for selected epilepsy patients--generally those for whom medicines have not worked, and who are not candidates for or choose not to have epilepsy surgery.
- The ketogenic diet is a very precise and specific diet that can reduce, and occasionally eliminate, seizures in selected patients. It is reserved for those who do not respond to medication. Parents and patients work with a team consisting of dietitian, nurse, pharmacist, and physician to institute and regulate the diet.
Specialized epilepsy care throughout life is central to the philosophy of ICEP.
- Infants and children with epilepsy are cared for by the Pediatric Division of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program.
- Women with epilepsy may obtain cooperative care through consultation with physicians in endocrinology, family medicine, gynecology, and reproductive endocrinology.
- Older adults with epilepsy often have milder seizures than younger patients, but are often more vulnerable to medication side effects and drug interactions. To ensure that elderly patients' antiepileptic medications may be safely and tolerably administered given any other significant medical problems or complicated medication programs, pharmacologist or geriatrics consultation is available.
Our program takes pride in offering quality, specialized epilepsy care for all of our patients. Because of its optimal patient care, the ICEP was designated as a level 4 epilepsy center by the NAEC (2014).
For detailed information about your neurology visit, please see our About Your Neurology Visit guide.
If you are interested in finding out more about the department of Neurology, our research and educational programs, news and events, or how you can give by donating, please visit our academic and departmental website.
Iowa Comprehensive Epilepsy Program
The Level 4 Epilepsy Center at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics provides the highest level of epilepsy care available in the US, treating epilepsy patients from across the Midwest. The UI Epilepsy Center also serves as a resource for neurologists and other neuroscientists from around the country, offering second opinions and expert advice.
- SUDEP Clinic, Neurosurgery Clinic, Epilepsy Support Group - More information for patients interested in seeking treatment for epilepsy.
- SUDEP research program - Information about SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy) research underway at the hospital.
- Epilepsy Foundation and Epilepsy Foundation (North Central Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska) - Epilepsy Foundation of America (EFA) website and heartland regional site.
- NINDS Epilepsy Website - Information about the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Epilepsy initiative.
- PAME (Partners Against Mortality in Epilepsy) - Epilepsy awareness group.
- SUDEPAWARE - Charitable group raising awareness about SUDEP.
Support Epilepsy Research
If you are interested in donating to epilepsy research at Iowa, please see our foundation website (see Epilepsy Research Fund).