Pediatric Epilepsy Care in NJ | Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health   

Pediatric Epilepsy Care

Tailored treatment for children who suffer from seizures

Witnessing your child having a seizure is life-changing. And while getting an epilepsy diagnosis can be traumatic for the whole family, it may bring patients one step closer to realizing a seizure-free life. You can feel confident knowing that there are leading pediatric epilepsy experts with access to the latest treatments nearby.

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that involves recurrent, unprovoked seizures. In children, epilepsy can impact daily life, development, behavior, learning, and overall well-being. At Hackensack Meridian Children's Health, we understand the challenges that families face when dealing with pediatric epilepsy.

Diagnosing Epilepsy in Children

Diagnosing epilepsy involves a thorough evaluation which may include:

  • A detailed medical history
  • Neurological exams
  • Diagnostic tests such as electroencephalograms (EEGs) to measure brain activity
  • Advanced imaging techniques like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify potential structural issues in the brain, and nuclear medicine studies (eg. PET/SPECT)

After a diagnosis, a dedicated pediatric neurologist or pediatric epilepsy specialist will work in collaboration with other providers to create a treatment plan that’s right for your child. Because epilepsy is the only condition they treat, pediatric epilepsy specialists use the latest, most innovative treatments to create personalized plans for each patient.

The Road to a Seizure-Free Life

While there is no cure for epilepsy, prolonged seizure-freedom is the goal of treatment. Even if complete seizure-freedom is unattainable, effective management strategies can help minimize seizure frequency and/or intensity, and improve quality of life. A personalized treatment plan may include:

  • Diet therapy such as modified Atkins and ketogenic diets (high-fat and low-carbohydrate diets specifically designed to control seizures). Some children on the ketogenic diet become seizure-free.
  • Medications prescribed based on the type of seizure, your child’s age, side effects, cost, and ease of use. Your child may need periodic blood and urine tests, as well as an occasional EEG, to see how well the medication is working.
  • Neuropsychological testing used to understand and address how epilepsy impacts a child’s thinking and behavior in school and at home. This also helps the team plan for possible surgery.
  • Vagus nerve stimulation with a device implanted under the skin of the chest. This generates electrical currents to correct abnormal brain activity. This may be an option for children ages 12 and older who have partial seizures not well controlled with medication.
  • Minimally invasive laser procedures using computer planning and robotic guidance to ablate areas of the brain without performing a formal craniotomy.
  • Neuromodulatory therapies including deep brain stimulation (DBS) and reactive neurostimulation (RNS) to target eloquent and deep brain regions.
  • Surgery to remove or ablate parts of the brain responsible for seizures. Our epilepsy surgeons have extensive experience performing these delicate operations.

Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health also has multiple clinics and programs dedicated to pediatric epilepsy care, including:

Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU)

Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital is the only children’s hospital in the state of New Jersey to offer an inpatient unit specifically designed to monitor patients for epilepsy. This EMU hospital has dedicated staff and state-of-the-art equipment to monitor brain activity in each room. Providers address the various needs of epilepsy patients, including emotional and social support, seizure prevention, and acute management.

Tubular Sclerosis Complex Center

Our Tubular Sclerosis Complex (TSC) Center provides comprehensive care for individuals with TSC, a genetic disorder often associated with epilepsy. Our epilepsy specialists collaborate closely with other specialists within the TSC Center to offer integrated care, addressing the neurological aspects of epilepsy and the broader spectrum of health issues associated with TSC.

Sturge-Weber Syndrome Clinic

This specialized clinic provides comprehensive care for individuals diagnosed with Sturge-Weber Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder. A multidisciplinary team of epilepsy specialists, pediatric ophthalmologists, and dermatologists collaborate to address the unique medical and developmental needs associated with Sturge-Weber Syndrome. This includes managing seizures and addressing potential neurological challenges.

Genetic testing and counseling

Pediatric epilepsy is sometimes linked to genetic mutations. In some cases, epilepsy can be passed along in families. Our Center for Genetic and Genomic Medicine is one of the largest and most advanced genetic testing programs in New Jersey and provides expertise in rare genetic epilepsies.

Why Choose Us for Pediatric Epilepsy Care?

When partnering with some of the leading epilepsy experts in New Jersey, you can participate in every health care decision for your child. Choosing Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health for epilepsy care means you get:

For More Information
Contact Us

Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center
30 Prospect Ave., Hackensack, NJ 07601

Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital 

Hovnanian Children's Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center
19 Davis Avenue, Neptune, NJ 07753

JFK University Medical Center
65 James Street, Edison, New Jersey 08820

U.S. News & World Report Best Children's Hospitals 2023-2024 Neurology

Innovative Treatments and Technology

At Hackensack Meridian Children's Health, we pride ourselves on offering innovative treatments, including off-label and emerging options. For instance, we are the only hospital in the state to provide Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) scans, a cutting-edge tool that aids in localizing seizure origins. 

Access to Clinical Trials for Epilepsy

Through our commitment to research, we provide access to clinical trials for epilepsy. This means our patients may have opportunities to try innovative medicines and treatments not available elsewhere.

Accredited, Cutting-Edge Care

Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center and JFK University Medical Center are accredited Level IV Epilepsy Centers by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. This is the highest level possible and recognizes our comprehensive, high-quality epilepsy care.

4-year-old Thriving After Surgery to Drastically Reduce 100+ Daily Seizures

Thanks to innovative surgeries, Israel De La Cruz has progressed from having multiple seizures a day to being able to attend school and thrive as a growing child.

Jersey City Toddler Plagued by Seizures Is Now Seizure-free

On July 6, 2019, Shanaya Sinha was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was healthy and beautiful and brought unimaginable joy to her mother, Sukriti, 32, and father, Alok, 35.

Our Pediatric Epilepsy Specialists

Our children’s hospital epilepsy leaders offer comprehensive patient and family care. They join forces with 30+ other specialties within our children’s hospitals to provide a unified plan for every patient.

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