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Pediatrics Neurology

Pediatrics Neurology

Pediatric neurology is the branch of medicine dealing with neurological conditions in children, from newborns through adolescents. Neurologists treat diseases and disorders of the nervous system. The nervous system includes the brain and nerves, but also the spinal cord, the peripheral nervous system, the autonomic nervous system, blood vessels and muscles.

A neurologist can handle diagnosis and treatment of diseases impacting those conditions. Your child’s pediatrician or another specialist may refer you to a pediatric neurologist for further testing or after making a preliminary diagnosis of a neurological condition. Sometimes, parents seek help from a pediatric neurologist without a referral from the child’s primary care physician if they recognize signs of a potential neurological disorder or disease.

  • Medication Management: Many neurological conditions in children are managed with medications, including antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) for epilepsy, medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and treatments for headaches.

  • Physical Therapy: Physical therapists work with children who have neurological conditions to improve motor skills, mobility, and strength. This is often used in conditions such as cerebral palsy.

  • Occupational Therapy: Occupational therapists help children with neurological disorders develop skills for daily living, such as fine motor skills, feeding, and self-care.

  • Speech Therapy: Speech therapists assist children with speech and language disorders often seen in conditions like autism, developmental delay, or neurological injury.

  • Epilepsy Surgery: In some cases of drug-resistant epilepsy in children, surgical procedures like resective surgery or corpus callosotomy may be considered to reduce seizure activity.

  • Ketogenic Diet: The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that may be prescribed for children with epilepsy that does not respond well to medications.

The discipline child neurology encompasses diseases and disorders of spinal cord, brain, peripheral nervous system (PNS), autonomic nervous system (ANS), muscles, and blood vessels that affect individuals these age groups.

Pediatric neurologists act as consultants to primary care physicians, who may refer children to the neurologists for specialist care. For children with long-term neurological ailments, the pediatric neurologist provides regular care and consultation. Child neurologists are found in a variety of medical environments ranging from children’s hospitals to outpatient practices, university medical centers, and private clinics. These physicians combine their understanding of diagnosis and treatment of the nervous system with expertise in childhood disorders and children’s special needs.

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