A child neurologist has the specialized training to treat a broad spectrum of pediatric neurological disorders. They treat children from infancy to early adulthood, and generally make caring for children the core of their practice. Child neurologists spend 4 years in medical school, 2 more years in a pediatric residency, and then three years in residency learning how to diagnose and treat neurological disorder symptoms. Some examples of these symptoms are:
- Delays in speech development
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These symptoms can have a number of causes, some of which are neurological diseases in humans. Whether or not your childs symptoms are the result of a neurological disorder must be determined by a child neurologist or neurosurgeon.
Pediatric neurologists can diagnose, treat, and help to manage any of these following neurological conditions
- Seizures including epilepsy and febrile convulsions
- Head injuries and brain tumors
- Muscle weaknesses caused by neuromuscular disorders, muscular dystrophy, or cerebral palsy.
- Severe, recurring headaches such as migraines
- Pediatric behavioral disorders including autism and ADHD
- Developmental disorders
Whether your child needs to visit a neurologist or neurosurgeon depends on whether your childs neurological disorder symptoms need to be treated with surgery or not. Many of these cases can be treated with prescription medications and behavior therapy, while others will require neurosurgery.
Pediatric neurologists mix their expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of nervous system disorders with an understanding of childhood medical disorders. They also consider the special needs of children, and the importance of the childs family and social environment in recommending treatment. Pediatric neurologists often team up with pediatricians and primary care physicians to devise a more comprehensive treatment plan. Some pediatric neurological disorders are chronic, requiring follow up treatment well into adulthood.
New technologies are giving doctors unprecedented insights into the world of neurological disorders. Animal tests have also helped doctors to gain a better understanding of neurological diseases in humans. One of the leading institutions that has undoubtedly added to the knowledge of your neurologist or neurosurgeonis Johns Hopkins University. Johns Hopkins provides the most advanced care for all forms of pediatric neurological disorders.
Finding a neurologist for your child is relatively easy, especially if you have health insurance. You Pediatrician or your familys primary care physician will provide you with a referral to one of the pediatric neurologists in your health care network. There are also several on line directories that can lead you to the names and contact information of child neurologists in y our area.
Treating neurological diseases in humans requires a holistic approach, taking into account the effect of the patients environment, physical condition, and emotional state. This is especially true with children, and is why most child neurologists choose to work closely a childs other doctors to gain more insight into the childs life and better serve the child as a patient.
While all pediatricians have some training in neurological disorder symptoms, only a child neurologist has the expertise to ultimately diagnose, treat, and help manage those symptoms. It may seem that autism and ADHD are on the rise. However, it is more likely that advanced techniques are making it easier for pediatric neurologists to diagnose these conditions and treat them properly, greatly enhancing the childs quality of life. If you suspect that your child is suffering from ADHD, autism, or any other neurological disorder, then your first step is to get an appointment with your pediatrician. Discuss your observations with the doctor. If the doctor thinks that your concerns are valid, then expect to receive a referral to a pediatric neurosurgeon or neurologist, depending on the severity of the symptoms.