What is Pediatric Neurology?

What is Pediatric Neurology?

Pediatric neurology is a medical field that addresses a wide range of neurological problems in children. Advancements in the discipline can help manage or treat conditions such as ADHD, autism, epilepsy, or seizures. A thorough diagnosis is crucial to help your pediatric neurologist New York decide on the ideal treatment plan.

What is the role of a pediatric neurologist?

Pediatric neurologists are healthcare practitioners whose role is to treat nervous system conditions. They specialize in providing care for infants, children, and adolescents.

Pediatric neurologists undergo advanced training to provide adequate care for children. They attend one or two years of residency program after four years of medical school. Some practitioners may take further education in specific areas of specialization, such as epilepsy or autism.

Pediatric neurologists also collaborate with other medical teams to deliver quality care for your child. They may work with physiotherapists to address neuromuscular disorders. Collaboration is often necessary for complex conditions like epilepsy and nervous system inflammation.

What neurological conditions do they diagnose and treat?

Pediatric neurologists specialize in diagnosing and treating nervous system conditions. That may include issues with the nerves, brain, and spine. Your child’s neurologist may treat epilepsy, seizures, and brain tumors.

Child neurologists also diagnose and treat autoimmune issues like multiple sclerosis. They can diagnose many different conditions. However, some health problems are more common than others.

The most prevalent neurological issues in children include:

  • Autism and Asperger’s syndrome
  • Behavioral problems such as ADHD
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Epilepsy
  • Tourette syndrome

Pediatric neurology and diagnostic tests

Your practitioner may have to run multiple diagnostic tests before creating a suitable treatment plan for your child. Physical examinations and the apparent symptoms will inform the diagnostic tests the doctor will conduct.

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Some of the tests may include:

  • Blood tests: Your child’s neurologist may take a blood sample to diagnose nervous system conditions. Blood samples can provide clues regarding some genetic disorders. The test also detects electrolyte changes, infections, and signs of inflammation.
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) tests: MRI tests provide high-resolution images of brain waves. The data can detect inflammation in neurological tissues. It helps to determine if the brain activity corresponds to the child’s age. MRI can be an invaluable tool for diagnosing developmental problems in children.
  • CT (Computer Tomography) scan: CT scans can be described as x-rays taken at different angles. A CT scan provides detailed images of the neurological tissues. Your child’s neurologist may use it to diagnose multiple sclerosis, brain tumors, and epilepsy.
  • EEG (Electroencephalogram): EEG can detect neurological problems by measuring brainwaves. Doctors use it to diagnose seizures, brain tumors, and other neurological conditions.
  • Spinal tap: Also known as lumbar puncture, a spinal tap involves taking a sample from the spinal tissues. Your pediatric neurologist extracts the fluid by injecting a microneedle into the lower spine. The fluid is taken to the lab to check for signs of infection or inflammation. A spinal tap is often used to check if a child has meningitis.

Contact New York Neurology Associates to learn more about the role of a pediatric neurologist.

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