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Minnesota Epilepsy Group opens Hudson office

Dr. James White, epileptologist for the Minnesota Epilepsy Group, sits by the EEG machine in the Hudson office which opened in October. Photo by Margaret A. Ontl

Patient convenience is the number one reason the Minnesota Epilepsy Group opened an office at 1610 Maxwell Drive, Suite 200.

The medical group, based in St. Paul on the United Hospital campus, is made up seven epileptologists, which are neurologists specializing in epilepsy. Three focus on pediatric patients and four on adult patients. The group was founded in 1990 and provides service to patients from throughout the Midwest, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

"The reason for this office is because a lot of patients do not want to travel to St. Paul," said Dr. James R. White, who will be based in Hudson. "I will be concentrating on reading patients EEG's in this clinic. This also gives us a chance to see patients in a more relaxed atmosphere."

According to White, 1 to 2 percent of the population will develop epilepsy; 9 percent will have a seizure at least once in their lives.

Epilepsy is the tendency to have recurrent seizures.

"Seizures are caused by an abnormal charge of electricity to the brain," said White. "Causes are very individual. Anything that will cause scaring to the brain such as infection, brain tumor or stroke can be a cause."

"We are finding genetics are also playing a bigger role," said White. "You can develop epilepsy at any age, although there are two times in life when you are most likely to do so, early childhood and after the age of 60."

However, according to White, most seizure activity can be controlled by proper medication.

"Fifty percent of the patients will be helped by the first seizure medicine they are prescribed," said White. "Overall, seizure medicine will control two-thirds of all patients who have seizures." Studies show that complete seizure control can enhance the quality of life longterm.

At the St. Paul office the group offers admitting pre-surgery exams; differential diagnosis and works with the emergency room for patients who are having acute repetitive seizures. They also work extensively with the intensive care unit providing daily EEG monitoring.

White readily admits he specialized in neurology and subsequently epilepsy because the brain is so interesting.

"I knew it would keep me interested and energized because I am working in an area I am passionate about," said White.

White and the Minnesota Epilepsy group will be hosting a patient education seminar in the community room of the Citizens State Bank in January. It will be free and open to the public.

Minnesota Epilepsy Group's Hudson office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. usually by appointment. For more information you may visit their website at or call (715) 377-1616.