Evaluation and Testing

To classify the type of seizure the child is having and to answer other clinical questions, children are studied in the Pediatric EEG Laboratory located next to the epilepsy clinical area. Most tests are performed on an outpatient basis; some may require a hospital stay. Technicians perform more than 4,000 pediatric EEGs each year.

Tests may include:

For children with drug-resistant epilepsy, additional tests may include:

  • Cortical stimulation studies
  • WADA tests

Patient at the Seizure ClinicOnset Seizure Clinic

This unique clinic offers fast-track access to care for children who have experienced their first seizures. Through the clinic, children are seen within 24-48 hours. Patients are seen by Emily Rhodes and Tracy Connell, nurse practitioners. For more information, call  314.454.5437 or 800.678.5437.

Each patient receives an individualized treatment plan. Not all children with a single seizure require treatment with medication. Children who do require treatment with an anti-epileptic drug after their first seizure(s) receive individualized attention, with the selection of the drug based upon the unique needs of each child.

Testing is also individualized. When needed, brain imaging studies (e.g., MRI, PET, SPECT), EEG, MEG and other studies are offered by specialists working with the Pediatric Epilepsy Center.

Ketogenic Diet Clinic

The Ketogenic Diet Clinic provides specialized care for children on the ketogenic diet, the modified Atkins diet, or the low glycemic index diet for their epilepsy. The clinic evaluates children who are candidates for these diets and provides follow-up care once the child has started the diet.

Rett Spectrum Clinic

The Rett Spectrum Clinic a specialty clinic designed to care for and support children with Rett Syndrome and Rett Related Disorders including CDKL5.

Tuberous Sclerosis Clinic

Dr. Smyth with a patientThe Tuberous Sclerosis (TS) Clinic is one of about 20 clinics in the United States dedicated specifically to the care of patients with Tuberous Sclerosis (TS). As the most common and serious symptoms of TS are usually related to the brain, the TS Clinic is within the Neurology division, focusing on neurological symptoms such as seizures, developmental problems and autism.

Services offered through the TS Clinic include:

  • Diagnosis: Comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, including history, physical exam, laboratory testing and radiographic studies
  • Follow-up care: Coordinated care for ongoing medical issues, involving multiple medical specialties
  • Inpatient care: For urgent/emergent medical issues
  • Scheduled radiographic screening/monitoring for TS-related tumors
  • Genetic testing for TS and genetic counseling
  • EEG/Video-EEG monitoring for seizure/epilepsy evaluation
  • Neuropsychological/behavioral testing
  • Educational and social support related to TS, in conjunction with the TS Alliance

Learn more about the Tuberous Sclerosis Clinic.

Surgical Services

When medications fail, some patients are excellent candidates for removal of the area where the seizures start. Specialized testing allows the epilepsy experts to map not only the region of seizure generation, but also the places of the brain where important functions reside, making surgery much safer.

The Epilepsy Center team has experience and expertise in all forms of epilepsy surgery(focal cortical resectionlobectomycorpus callosotomy, and hemispherectomy).

Epilepsy Board

Physicians at the Epilepsy BoardThe entire Pediatric Epilepsy Center team meets weekly to determine the best treatment for patients who have not responded to medication. The staff's expertise is backed by access to the latest equipment, research, and resources to provide well-rounded care.

Why Choose Us?

St. Louis Children’s Hospital is consistently ranked among the nation’s best pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, the most comprehensive source of quality-related information on U.S. pediatric hospitals. We follow one simple mission – to do what’s right for kids. That mission comes to life through medical discovery, innovative therapies and compassionate care.

Best Children's Hospitals