What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is caused by a disturbance in the brain’s electrical system and causes a change in a person’s consciousness and/or motor activity. Epilepsy is a disorder that results from the surges in electrical signals inside the brain, causing recurring seizures. Symptoms of epilepsy and seizures vary. Some people with epilepsy simply stare blankly for a few seconds during a seizure, while others have full-fledged convulsions.


We use several technologies to diagnose epilepsy, including:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). During magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the body is exposed to electromagnetic radiation that can detect, process and convert images of the body’s soft tissue, such as the brain or spinal cord, into computer images.
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET). Positron emission tomography (PET) scanning allows doctors to see how an organ functions, rather than simply its structure. This breakthrough technology is particularly useful in diagnosing some neurological disorders.


Image-Guided System

The image-guided system used during brain surgery consists of CT and/or MRI scans to provide a clear picture of the area of the brain the surgeon will operate on. This system is so precise the surgeon does not need to look at the actual brain during surgery but rather the computer on which the mapped brain images are enhanced.

Vagus Nerve Stimulator

The vagus nerve stimulator is a round pulse generator, about the size of a pocket watch, implanted under the skin on the upper left side of the chest to help control seizures. A thin, flexible plastic tube containing electrodes is attached to the generator in the chest and connected to the vagus nerve in the neck. The generator produces regular pulses of electrical energy to inhibit the electrical disturbances caused by seizure.

Rehabilitation Services

Neuropsychology Services

As the only provider in the region with both a neuropsychologist and a behavioral psychologist on staff, Saint Francis Medical Center provides expert care for patients suffering from emotional/cognitive problems due to bodily injury. Inpatient rehabilitation staff helps patients develop coping skills, establish appropriate expectations and modify their lifestyle in accordance with any physical limitations to maintain a positive outlook on life.

Nutritional Services

After an initial assessment, patients are provided with an individualized nutrition plan to follow during their stay and are checked on a weekly basis by Saint Francis Medical Center’s dietitians and aides. At discharge, patients may receive additional feedback on future nutritional concerns.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists and assistants at Saint Francis Medical Center are focused on increasing independence and improving quality of life. This involves developing individualized treatment programs for patients to help them reach goals in regard to the social, emotional and physiological effects of illnesses and injuries, including spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and dementia. Caregivers also assist patients in restoring daily living activities, such as self-care, work and leisure.

Pediatric Rehabilitation

The specialized pediatric rehabilitation program supports an interdisciplinary team approach to treating communication, physical, social and behavioral needs. Therapists are experienced at keeping children motivated during therapy sessions.

Recreational Therapy

Saint Francis Medical Center’s recreational therapy caregivers work with patients to improve skills and provide information needed to ensure successful adjustment into their home or community environment.

Social Work

Social workers at Saint Francis Medical Center meet with the family members of patients to counsel them in regard to lifestyle changes and connect them to community resources to meet patients’ needs.

Support Groups

Saint Francis Medical Center offers patients and their family members access to various support groups related to a variety of conditions and diseases that allow individuals to share feelings and concerns with one another in a safe, non-threatening environment.