Mater Epilepsy Unit
Epilepsy is one of the world's commonest neurological conditions, in which alterations in brain activity can result in seizures. Eiplespy can occur at any age and be due to a variety of causes. Whilst anti-seizure medications are effective for most patients, in about a third of people, anti-seizure medications do not fully control seizures ("drug-resistant epilepsy"). It may be possible in some of these cases to treat epilepsy using surgery.
The Mater Epilepsy Unit specialises in the evaluation and treatment of focal, drug resistant epilepsies. One of the main aspects of presurgical evaluation is video-electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring to record seizures, along with detailed brain imaging and neuropsychological assessment. In some patients, more detailed recording may be required using intracerebral monitoring, the stereo-EEG method, to localise the source of seizures within the brain.
Our team is made up of epileptologists, neurosurgeons, EEG scientists, epilepsy nurses, neuropsychiatrists, neuropsychologists, clinical psychologists and speech pathologists who all work together to provide the highest level of care in the diagnosis and treatment of focal epilepsy.
Epilepsy Monitoring Unit
Epilepsy monitoring and inpatient assessment is necessary for the management of focal epilepsy and occurs in the purpose built Epilepsy Monitoring Unit in the Mater Neurosciences Centre Brisbane. We utilise the most advanced equipment to analyse seizure symptoms and brain activity during a seizure.
The facilities include private patient monitoring rooms near the dedicated monitoring station that is staffed by trained scientists and nurses 24 hours daily. The information gathered from epilepsy monitoring and other tests is analysed by our specialist epileptologists. Our unit also has a strong research focus and collaborates with researchers who are working to better understand epilepsy and how to improve treatments.
The specialised methods employed in the Mater Epilepsy Unit ensures that patients receive the best treatment for their epilepsy and allows for accurate assessments to determine if they might benefit from epilepsy surgery.
The decision to progress to epilepsy surgery is an involved process. At each step, our dedicated staff offer high-level expertise to meet the needs of our patients, which begins in the first consultation. Our services include:
- Epileptologist consultations
- Collaborative management with other specialties/services:
- Clinical Psychology
- Speech Pathology
- VNS Clinic
- Immunomodulatory Therapy
- Outpatient EEGs
- 24-hour monitoring of seizures in dedicated rooms
- Ictal SPECT
- Intracerebral methods:
- Electrocorticography (ECoG)
Our service aims to provide the highest level care for patients living with epilepsy, as well as a strong commitment to long-term follow-up and management.
- Prof Aileen McGonigal - Director of the Mater Epilepsy Unit
- Dr Lisa Gillinder – Clinical neurologist and epileptologist
- Dr Donald Craig – Epileptologist
- Isaac Wensley – Lead Neurophysiology Scientist
- Stephen Coyle – Senior Neurophysiology Scientist
- Stuart Ferguson – Senior Neurophysiology Scientist
- Lincoln Browne – Neurophysiology Scientist
- Anne Ovington – Epilepsy Clinical Nurse
- Ladeen Hughes – Senior Administration Officer