On Aug.14, NYU opened the doors to Langone Hospital — Brooklyn’s new epilepsy center. This is Langone’s second center of its kind, with its first at the Manhattan location. The center specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy, the fourth most common neurological illness in the United States.
The unit is located at 150 55th St. in the newly renovated neurology suite of NYU Langone — Brooklyn and is equipped with digital video monitoring technology to closely examine patients’ conditions.
The new unit is headed by Department of Neurology Clinical Assistant Professor Blanca Vazquez.
“The need for epilepsy care in the community is immense,” Vazquez said. “Care is limited because of patient mobility. Many of them can’t drive, so it is unrealistic to expect them to go to the city every time they need care.”
Vazquez, a 26-year veteran of Langone, is also the director of epilepsy clinical trials being conducted at the center.
Although the NYU Langone Comprehensive Epilepsy Center in Manhattan has been treating epilepsy patients for years, hospital officials saw a need for specialized help in closer proximity to Brooklyn.
“Care used to be really limited in Brooklyn,” Vazquez said. “When I first started going to the Brooklyn community, I saw the need for comprehensive care. It’s not just about controlling symptoms, it’s about establishing a better quality of life for the patients.”
To meet this goal, the Brooklyn center is equipped with the technology needed to monitor patients’ specific types of epilepsy and ensure that they get the necessary care. Advanced brain mapping and surgeries are available to patients at the Manhattan campus.
Vazquez said that many patients do not receive a proper diagnosis, as symptoms are not always clear and types of epilepsy can vary by person. She said she believes that the care provided by the Brooklyn epilepsy center can help many people avoid this confusion and receive proper care.
“We live in a very exciting time of epilepsy care,” Vazquez said. “We understand epilepsy is a very different condition for different patients. Technology has grown with us in terms of devices and imagery to determine where the problem is and how can we fix it.”
Vazquez’s vision for the future of epilepsy care is that treatment goes beyond symptom control and helps patients when it comes to education, work, childcare, driving and other areas of life.
“Epilepsy surgery used to be a concept when I started. Now it is the standard of care,” she said. “Every patient should be seen by a specialist if they are not doing well and if they have intolerable side effects. That’s my goal.”
Email Sakshi Venkatraman at [email protected]