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Phase 2: Wada Test

If your evaluations suggest that surgery may help you, you will have a Wada test, a procedure developed by neurologist Juhn Wada in the 1940s.

It evaluates whether a patient is a good candidate for surgery, or it is used as a preparation for surgery. The test is the only known way to examine how a specific side of the brain works. It does this by:

  • Determining the memory and language functions in each side of your brain
  • Mapping how each side of your brain works
  • Tracing the arteries that supply blood to each side of your brain

On the day after the test, you will usually have a quick visual field test in the Ophthalmology department to check your ability to see up, down, and to the side.

If necessary, you will have an ictal SPECT scan to help your doctor find out where the seizures are beginning. This would require being admitted for video/EEG monitoring following the Wada test. It is unlikely that you would stay longer than five days, but it depends largely on how frequently your seizures occur. As before, your medication may be reduced before you are admitted to encourage seizure activity. During this test, a radioisotope will be injected into your vein during a seizure, and then you will have a SPECT scan. The procedure will be repeated when you are not having a seizure, so your doctor can compare the two.

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