Epilepsy Center Offers Advanced Treatments

July 23, 2018

Central Illinois patients dealing with complex epilepsy and related disorders will now have access to expert care close to home.

In partnership with the Southern Illinois University Neuroscience Institute, Memorial Medical Center in Springfield has been accredited by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers as a Level 3 epilepsy center.

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain. It's marked by sudden and repeated episodes of sensory disturbances, loss of consciousness and convulsions. As Illinois’ southernmost accredited epilepsy center, the Springfield program is more easily accessible to patients in the downstate area and is one of only 13 accredited centers in Illinois. One is in Urbana, another in Peoria, and the remaining 10 are in Chicago.

The Level 3 accreditation recognizes that SIU and Memorial have the professional expertise and state-of-the-art diagnostic and therapeutic facilities to provide the highest level medical evaluation and treatment for patients with complex epilepsy, including surgery and behavioral health support.

“At the SIU Neuroscience Institute, our goal is to provide timely assessment and improve the quality of life for patients with epilepsy,” said Najib Murr, MD, co-director of the SIU Neuroscience Institute’s Epilepsy Center and director of the EEG (electroencephalogram) Lab at Memorial Medical Center. “Patients can see our specialists and have a complete treatment plan in a few days.”

Joining Murr are Abdullah Al Sawaf, MD, and Sajjad Mueed, both SIU Medicine neurologists, who provide specialty care in epilepsy. The Memorial Epilepsy Center not only provides routine care to individuals with seizures or epilepsy, but also specializes in providing comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services to individuals with uncontrolled seizures. The center’s multidisciplinary team approach includes team-based care from neurologists, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists and neuropsychologists at SIU and radiologists and interventional radiologists at Memorial Medical Center.

 "We are honored and proud of this accreditation, which acknowledges our efforts to provide the most innovation care to our patients," said Tiffany Whitaker, a registered nurse and director of comprehensive stroke services at Memorial Medical Center. "The Memorial Epilepsy Center features an excellent multidisciplinary team that improves access to specialists while providing patient-centered care."

The coordinated care is the infrastructure for the SIU Neuroscience Institute, which consolidates SIU’s departments of neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry into a single-site outpatient clinical care center staffed by more than 50 neuroscience providers.

An estimated 2.2 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with epilepsy. In Illinois, nearly 140,000 people live with this chronic and often disabling condition. Early intervention is key to successful treatment, Murr said.

For more information or to make an appointment at the Epilepsy Center, call 217-545-8000. Learn more about SIU Medicine's Neuroscience Institute and view a list of providers at www.siumed.edu/nsi.

Life With Epilepsy - Read about a patient whose quality of life has improved with care from the Epilepsy Center (and a furry friend).