How it works

New Onset Seizure Center

How it works

Monmouth’s New Onset Seizure Center provides rapid out-patient evaluation and treatment of patients presenting with new onset seizures referred directly from the emergency department or from their primary care physicians’ office.

A seizure (or fit) is a sudden episode of transient neurologic symptoms such as involuntary muscle movements, sensory disturbances and altered consciousness, caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which a person has repeated seizures over time. A new onset seizure is defined as a seizure occurring in a patient who does not have a history of previous seizures or epilepsy. Epilepsy can be caused by stroke, dementia, traumatic brain injury, CNS Infections, congenital brain defects, brain tumors, abnormal blood vessels in the brain, and/or use of certain medications (including antidepressants, tramadol, cocaine, and amphetamines) Seizure patients need a thorough evaluation to determine the cause and prognosis of their seizures, and make the complex decisions about the most appropriate interventions to prevent future episodes and improve outcomes and quality of life. These are difficult decisions best made by certified epilepsy specialists and not during an emergency room visit.

The New Onset Seizure Center allows seizure patients to get an expedited evaluation by an epilepsy specialist before committing to any decisions about medication choices and the need for further testing.

Patients who are seen in the Emergency Room or their doctor’s office with a new onset seizure can now be sent home, with certain precautions, safe and secure in the knowledge that they can be seen by an appropriate specialists within a week, improving the quality of their care and avoiding unnecessary hospitalization.

The center is located in Monmouth’s brand new Neuroscience Clinic Space. Patients first undergo a brief screening visit with our neuroscience nurse practioner. They will then undergo a routine diagnostic electroencephalogram and brain magnetic resonance imaging study. Once these tests have been completed, all patients will be evaluated by one of the center’s certified epilepsy specialists for consultation and disposition, which might include initiation or adjustment of medications and/or other investigations to be arranged for another day such as video EEG monitoring.

The center is available for any patient aged 16 or older who has experienced a new onset seizure within the last 2 weeks and who does not have a known epilepsy diagnosis or already follow with a neurologist. All we ask is that patients are referred by a doctor, so that we can be sure the center is the right place for that patient to be seen. Obviously, patients who are actively experiencing seizures or who are medically unstable should be taken to the nearest Emergency Department right away and not wait for an appointment to be seen in our center.

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