YOUR HEALTH: A cap that can detect trouble spots for epileptics

ORLANDO, Florida – Alina Esapovich has found her beat.

"My dance is basically like my go to place."

She's a dancer.

"When I start dancing I feel like just nothing matters."

Right now she's nursing an injury.  But Alina's dealt with epilepsy her entire life.

She can handle this.

But recently her epilepsy was ruining her rhythm. Medications and surgeries weren't keeping her seizures in check.

So Florida Hospital's Dr. Terry Rodgers-Neame used the new E-G-I Phillips Dense Array E-E-G machine to find exactly where the seizures were coming from.

"This is a very big breakthrough," said Dr. Rodgers-Naeme.

The patient wears a net over his or her head.  256-electrodes send images to cameras.

"This truly brings us into the 21st century in terms of being able to localize exactly where the seizures are coming from," explained Dr. Rodgers-Naeme.

Surgeons then use these precise pictures to remove the exact section of the brain that's causing the seizures.

"If we pinpoint that abnormal area we can take out a smaller portion of the brain and therefore decrease the risk of having serious complications from the surgery."

Now Alina is nearly seizure free.

"I'm going to keep on dancing no matter what."

And neither crutches nor seizures are going to get in her way.

TREATMENT:   Most people with epilepsy can become seizure-free by taking one anti-seizure medication, which is also called anti-epileptic medication.   Others may be able to decrease the frequency and intensity of their seizures by taking a combination of medications.   At least half the people newly diagnosed with epilepsy will become seizure-free with their first medication. If anti-epileptic medications don't provide satisfactory results, doctors may suggest surgery or other therapies.   Doctors usually perform surgery when tests show that seizures originate in a small, well-defined area of the brain or the area in the brain to be operated on doesn't interfere with vital functions such as speech, language, motor function, vision or hearing.   Apart from medications and surgery, potential therapies are Vagus nerve stimulation and a ketogenic diet. (Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/epilepsy/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350098)

If this story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Jim Mertens at jim.mertens@wqad.com or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com.