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Nov. 30, 2012

MSU, Sparrow add staffing and hours at epilepsy monitoring unit

Sparrow Hospital and MSU HealthTeam have expanded staffing and hours at the hospital’s state-of-the-art epilepsy monitoring unit.

Michigan State University assistant professor of neurology Tyson Burghardt has joined the facility's staff, allowing greater freedom in scheduling patients.

He joins MSU epilepsy division chief Mounzer Kassab, the unit’s medical director.

“We are excited by the addition of Dr. Burghardt and the expansion of what is the only unit of its kind from Ann Arbor to Grand Rapids,” said Kassab. “We continue to strive to improve quality of life for epileptic patients by providing a superior means to evaluate, diagnose and treat seizures in patients of all ages.”

Dozens of patients have been treated at the facility since it opened in 2011. It is the first of its kind in the region, providing hope for epilepsy patients who are not responding to traditional treatment methods. About one in 100 people have epilepsy and a third of them are not cured by any single medicine.

Epileptic seizures come in many forms, from a simple finger twitch to staring spells, loss of consciousness and generalized body stiffening and shaking. The unit’s specially trained physicians, nurses and technicians monitor patients around the clock via video and brain wave monitoring to evaluate aspects of seizures for advanced management options, including surgery.

By: Andy McGlashen