What is a Pediatric Neurologist?
A pediatric neurologist specializes in treating child-specific neurological conditions. These specialists provide medical treatment for children from birth until they reach young adulthood (i.e., 18 or 19 years of age).
To specialize in pediatric neurology, a medical doctor must take advanced training courses and attain clinical experience in this particular area of practice.
What Does a Pediatric Neurologist Do?
A pediatric neurologist uses the symptoms a child is experiencing, his or her medical history, a physical examination along with state-of-the-art diagnostic testing to determine if a neurological problem is causing the child’s symptoms.
A pediatric neurologist typically diagnoses, treats and manages:
- Muscular dystrophy.
- Autoimmune issues that affect the spinal cord and brain (e.g., multiple sclerosis).
- Rett syndrome.
- Headaches (e.g., concussions, migraines).
- Autism Spectrum Disorders.
- Behavioral disorders (e.g., attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder [ADHD])
- Sleep problems.
- Tourette syndrome (aka Tourette’s).
- Developmental disorders (e.g., delayed speech, cerebral palsy, problems with coordination, delays in meeting milestones related to motor skills).
- Congenital brain malformations.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
- Intellectual disabilities.
- Genetic conditions affecting the nervous system.
- Brain tumors.
- Infections and inflammation of the brain (e.g., encephalitis, meningitis).
Why Would Parents Take Their Child to a Pediatric Neurology Clinic?
Problems with a child’s nervous system can arise due to issues related to the brain, spine, muscles or nerves. If neurological problems exist, a child may experience headaches, seizures or developmental delay. When a child experiences symptoms such as these, his or her pediatrician may recommend that the parents schedule an appointment with a pediatric neurologist. Parents should call 978-687-2321 to make an appointment with one of the experienced and compassionate pediatric neurologists at New England Neurological Associates (NENA).
Symptoms that may require a visit to a pediatric neurologist include a child:
- Having difficulty maintaining his or her balance.
- Experiencing frequent, severe or long-lasting headaches.
- Falling into unconsciousness without a specific reason.
- Having difficulty remembering (i.e., memory loss).
- Experiencing numbness, tingling or a lack of sensation.
- Having unexplained pain.
- Experiencing difficulty walking or moving around.
- Having seizures.
- Experiencing tremors/shaking.
- Making unintentional movements or experiencing tics.
- Displaying delays in development.
- Having problems related to his or her overall coordination or some other issue relating to motor function.
When a child receives a diagnosis for a neurological condition, or is experiencing any of the issues listed above, he or she will most likely need treatment or monitoring. A pediatric neurologist is the professional specializing in this type of care.