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Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

The Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) at Fort Sanders Regional

Fort Sanders Regional’s Epilepsy Monitoring Unit is the first in East Tennessee, and brings national-quality epilepsy care closer to home.

What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a neurological condition that causes thousands of adults to be more susceptible to having unprovoked seizures. A seizure is when an abnormal pattern of electrical activity occurs in the brain that temporarily interrupts normal brain function.

An unprovoked seizure is not caused by conditions such as a high fever, low/high blood sugar, alcohol, drug intoxication/withdrawal, or electrolyte abnormalities. When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, he or she is considered to have epilepsy.

Epilepsy is one of the most common nervous system disorders, impacting one in 100 people in the United States. It affects  individuals of all ages, races and ethnicities and has a wide range of severity.

What is the EMU?

The Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at Fort Sanders Regional uses a Video EEG (VEEG) study to confirm that a person’s seizures are epileptic, determine the type of seizure activity being experienced, and identify where in the brain the seizures begin.

The information from the monitoring study may help doctors adjust treatment plans or medications.

What Can You Expect at the EMU?

During your stay, EEG electrodes will be placed on your scalp to record brain waves and on your chest to monitor your heart rhythm. The recording will be continuous for up to five days, and during this time, you will not be allowed to shower or leave your room.

We encourage you to bring activities to help pass the time, such as puzzles, books, magazines, card games, or a laptop/tablet. Visitors will be allowed during approved visiting hours.

Your experience and feedback is an important part of this study. You will be asked to write down any unusual feelings or warning signs associated with your seizures. You may be asked to replicate any circumstances that seem to trigger your seizures – i.e. lack of sleep.

Your safety is most important, and you will be assisted by our nursing staff as you move about your room or use the restroom.

After the study is completed, a follow-up appointment with your epileptologist or neurologist will be scheduled to discuss results and next steps.

To learn more about the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at Fort Sanders Regional, please call (865) 331-1460.