MU Children\'s Hospital expands Epilepsy Monitoring Unit

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COLUMBIA - In light of International Epilepsy Day, MU Health Care announced the expanded Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) at Women's and Children's Hospital.

"Children's Hospital had a huge number of patients with epilepsy covering many counties in mid-Missouri. So the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit will enhance the capabilities of diagnosing and managing patients with epilepsy," Dr. Arayamparambil Anilkumar, Division Director of Pediatric Neurology, said.

The EMU will help doctors monitor patients in real-time and examine brainwaves of that patient when they have a seizure to try and pinpoint what causes the seizure.

According to a news release from MU Health Care, “Epilepsy is a disease of the central nervous system in which electrical signals of the brain misfire, causing temporary communication problems between nerve cells, which leads to seizures.”

“It is not only providing access to patients with refractory epilepsy in the local area. It also will provide care for the patients already being managed here,” Dr. Anilkumar said.

In addition to monitoring patients with epilepsy, the technology can help doctors identify causes of unexplained sleep apnea in young children as well as other seizure disorders.

[Editor's note: this story has been edited for clarity.]