Epilepsy Monitoring Unit expands hours, adds physicians

Mounzer Kassab, M.D.
Tyson Burghardt, M.D.

Published: Nov. 30, 2012

Sparrow, in cooperation with the Michigan State University Health Team's Department of Neurology, has expanded the staffing and hours of its state-of-the-art Epilepsy Monitoring Unit.

The Unit, which monitors epileptic patients around the clock through video and brain wave monitoring, has added Dr. Tyson Burghardt, M.D., to its staff, allowing greater freedom in scheduling patients. Dr. Burghardt is an epileptologist from the MSU Department of Neurology and Ophthalmology.

He joins the Unit's Medical Director, Dr. Mounzer Kassab, M.D., Director of the Epilepsy Division at MSU.

Dozens of Patients have been treated at the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit since it opened at Sparrow in 2011. The Unit is the first of its kind in the region, providing hope for epilepsy Patients who are not responding to traditional treatment methods. About one out of 100 people have epilepsy and one-third of those people are not cured by any single medicine.

Epileptic seizures can come in many forms, from a simple finger twitch to staring spells, loss of consciousness and generalized body stiffening and shaking. The specially trained physicians, nurses and technicians monitor Patients 24/7 to evaluate aspects of seizures for advanced management options, including epilepsy surgery.

"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," Dr. Kassab said. "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."