Albany Med’s Adult Epilepsy Program Recognized as Highest Level Center
ALBANY, N.Y., May 14, 2012—For the fifth consecutive year, Albany Medical Center’s Epilepsy and Human Brain Mapping Program has received a Level 4 designation, the highest designation offered by the prestigious National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC).
Level 4 centers have the most advanced medical and surgical diagnostic and treatment options for patients with complex epilepsy. Albany Med shares this designation with programs of high distinction such as Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, and NYU Medical Center.
“The most effective treatment and potential surgical cure of epilepsy requires an intense, multi-disciplinary team approach,” said Anthony Ritaccio, M.D., J. Spencer Standish professor of neurology and neurosurgery and director of the epilepsy and human brain mapping program at Albany Medical Center.
“The level of care we provide epilepsy patients here at Albany Medical Center can only be found at the best academic centers around the country. Level 4 designation is an extraordinary achievement for Albany Med and for our community, and of significant importance to the patients we treat,” he said.
Epilepsy is a chronic disorder characterized by recurrent and unprovoked seizures, and is one of the most common neurological disorders. Seizures, the result of disturbed electrical rhythms of the central nervous system, can have many manifestations ranging from brief sensations, movements, confusion or convulsions. An estimated 2.7 million Americans have epilepsy.
Part of the Neurosciences Institute, Albany Med’s Epilepsy and Human Brain Mapping Program evaluates more than 350 patients each year in its inpatient epilepsy monitoring unit (EMU) for advanced medical prevention or surgical cure. The EMU offers the most technologically sophisticated monitoring experience available, including wireless brainwave recording. Using this equipment, staff can pinpoint the area of the brain where seizures begin. Brain mapping techniques are then used to locate areas of the brain important for language, memory and movement to safely guide surgical tissue removal in order to stop the seizures.
The NAEC establishes guidelines for services, personnel, and facilities that should be available at a specialized epilepsy center in an effort to provide consumers, government and other agencies with criteria to evaluate the quality of epilepsy programs. It then grants membership to qualifying programs.
Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center, is one of the largest private employers in the Capital Region. It incorporates the 651-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals, and also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region’s largest physicians practice with 325 doctors. Albany Medical Center works with dozens of community partners to improve the region’s health and quality of life. For more information: www.amc.edu or www.facebook.com/albanymedicalcenter.
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