People often ask me why I became an epileptologist, or what it is that makes me passionate about my work. I think that the answers to those questions are similar. Simply, I feel that in doing my job, I can help make people better. Epilepsy is a disease that can be so crippling to a person’s life, leading to loss of driving privileges, missed work and school days, and just overall difficulties with some of the life activities that you and I take for granted. However, advances in modern epilepsy treatment, both medical and surgical, have come a long way over the last several years. The concept of seizure freedom has become the expectation instead of a hopeless dream. Personally, it is incredibly rewarding for me to see a person achieve seizure freedom, and return to school, work or society with newfound confidence and security that their seizures are under control.
At the Nebraska Medical Center, we are very fortunate to have a strong and dedicated team of physicians, nurses and other providers who provide comprehensive epilepsy care for folks with even the toughest seizure disorders. Additionally, with advanced tools such as Magnetoencephalography (MEG), we are able to noninvasively diagnose and localize many epilepsies that eluded treatment in previous eras, which allows us to provide the most modern care possible. I consider myself blessed to work with a number of dedicated and expert surgeons, which allows me to offer advanced epilepsy therapies to patients that was not available in the region even as recently as two years ago. Finally, we have also made tremendous strides with epilepsy medications as a community, where we can now offer medical management that is more effective and safer than older seizure drugs. All in all, we are in the middle of a very exciting time in epilepsy therapy, and are standing on the cusp of even more advancements in the next few years. Through our epilepsy center, we are also planning to contribute to this advancement by offering clinical trials in the very near future.
Finally, I believe that 2011 is going to be a banner year for our epilepsy center. As Director, I look forward to extending our reach and collaborating with other hospitals and clinics to maximize our ability to treat patients. In addition to offering advanced medical and surgical treatments for epilepsy, we are planning to specifically focus on the effects of general wellness on seizure control. It may be surprising, but factors like diet, stress management and getting a good night’s sleep can be as effective as a medicine for the control of seizures! For those of you in the epilepsy community that know us, I thank you for your support, and for those that don’t, I look forward to meeting you over the next year.