"I have been to a number of Neurologists for treatment of my headaches and after years of frustration I finally got the help I needed from Dr. Hemphill. He spent over 30 minutes with me during my visit and listened carefully to my questions and concerns. He has an incredible bedside manner and really makes you feel like you're being taken care of by a caring professional. I'm happy to say that my condition has improved ten-fold since visiting Dr. Hemphill and following his prescribed treatment. I only wish I'd gone to him first! Highly recommended!"
The nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal column, nerves, and muscles. It is what allows our brain and body to communicate with each other. Disorders of the nervous system are treated by a neurologist. When these disorders affect children or teens, they are treated by a pediatric or child neurologist.
Child neurologists have a special understanding of how the nervous system functions in a child's growing body. Some neurological illnesses are rarely seen in adults, and others have symptoms that are different in children than in adults. Children's developing brains and bodies can change quickly, and a pediatric neurologist is trained to quickly evaluate and manage symptoms before they cause future problems.
There is a very wide variety of disorders in pediatric neurology. Some issues, like seizures, are quite common, while others are very rare. A few examples of the problems treated by a child neurologist include:
Seizures and epilepsy
Migraines and other headaches
Neurological disorders that cause physical disabilities, including cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy
Developmental movement disorders, such as motor delays or low coordination
Hydrocephalus, or fluid in the brain
Social and behavioral disorders that originate in the brain, such as ADHD and autism (many, but not all pediatric neurologists offer this service)
To figure out what is happening in a patient's nervous system, pediatric neurologists make frequent use of brain scans. These may be CT scans (computed tomography, which uses x-rays), MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging, done with radio waves and magnets), or PET scans (positron emission tomography, which uses small amounts of radioactive material). In addition, child neurologists may use:
EEG (electroencephalogram, a test to measure electrical activity in the brain)
EMG (electromyography, tests to measure how well nerves and muscles work)
Developmental screening tests
Hearing and vision tests
It can be incredibly difficult for parents when their child is hurting or isn't able to do things that other kids their age can do. A pediatric neurologist is a great resource to help kids with neurological disorders reach their full potential.