Originally published by Crain’s.
McLaren Health Care Corp. has equipped itself with an epilepsy sub specialty team as the Grand Blanc-based medical system focuses on an expected increase in diagnoses of the neurological disease.
About $1.1 million was invested into McLaren Macomb to build an Epilepsy Monitoring Unit under its Neurosciences Institute that is expected to serve about 1,000 patients per year, said Nikesh Ardeshna M.D., epilepsy services medical director. The new center opened on March 1.
“My goal is to increase awareness and provide quality and state of the art care. Those are the two biggest things,” he said.
About 100,000 people, about 90,000 being adults, in Michigan have epilepsy, according to the epileptologist. One in 26 people across the country are expected to develop the disorder at some point in their life and the incidences are forecast to rise because of the aging population, Ardeshna said. Epilepsy can begin at any age, but the fastest growing age group is seniors.
“There are 40 percent of patients who have epilepsy who don’t have their seizures in control, so they need this,” he said. “Sixty percent have never seen an epileptologist (a neurologist who specializes in the treatment of seizures), so our goal is to elevate the standard of care.”
The hospital is adding five more electroencephalogram technicians to bring its total to seven in the care unit. With two beds to serve about two patients a week, the technicians will be able to record continuous video to monitor brain electrical activity to diagnose epilepsy and develop treatment for seizures, Ardeshna said.