Pediatric neurology - diseases of the nervous system in children

Neurology is an important sub-area of medicine. The human nervous system is extremely complex and disorders can manifest themselves in many ways. Since children are by no means adults, the field of pediatric neurology exists solely to address the nervous system of children and diseases of it in children. The key focal areas are the physical and mental development of babies, children and adolescents and possible disorders of the nervous system.

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Pediatric neurology - Further information

Pediatric neurologists are specialists in the nervous system of children

A pediatric neurologist always has a specialist qualification in pediatric and adolescent medicine. A pediatrician is authorized to use the additional title of pediatric neurologist if he has completed a two-year course of further training in neuropediatrics and successfully passed the final examination.

An important part of neuropediatrics is developmental neurology. With the aid of various diagnostic techniques, the pediatric neurologist can assess the physical and mental development of children and, if necessary, create a treatment concept to promote development.

A further relevant sub-area is the field of motor disorders. These originate either in the motor nervous system or can be traced back, if there are cerebral motor disorders, to congenital or acquired brain damage. It is especially common for premature birth children to be affected by this sort of cerebral motor disorder.

Likewise, pediatric neurologists deal with seizure disorders. Here, the pediatric neurologist assesses both acute episodes of convulsions and chronic seizure disorders such as epilepsy.

Common diseases treated by pediatric neurologists

If a neurological development disorder is suspected in your child, you should also consult a pediatric neurologist. For example, the neurological development disorders may adversely affect language, social interactions, memory or perception. The following are some of the possible neurological development disorders:

  • autism spectrum disorders
  • intellectual handicaps
  • ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
  • learning handicaps such as dyslexia or dyscalculia

Diagnostic techniques in pediatric neurology

Neurologists have access to a variety of techniques for diagnosing and making a follow-up review of nervous diseases already diagnosed. Laboratory examinations of blood and cerebrospinal fluid reveal information on morbid changes.

Imaging techniques such as X-ray, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging are used in collaboration with a radiologist to make diagnoses. Likewise, ultrasound examinations of muscles and brain can deliver indications of the potential cause of symptoms.

A further important neurological diagnostic technique is the electroencephalogram (EEG). In this examination method, the electrical activity of the cerebral cortex is measured using special probes. This procedure can be amplified by electroneurography and electromyography to measure the electric muscle activity and nerve conduction velocity.

Treatment techniques in neuropediatrics

The therapy is determined primarily by the cause of the symptoms. The pediatric neurologist creates a treatment concept, which is tailored individually in each case to the patient.

If the disorder is developmental, the doctor can refer to various different support options. For example, he can prescribe language support or send the patient for physiotherapy or occupational therapy.

Motor disorders also usually require interdisciplinary support. This means that different professional groups, for example occupational therapists, speech therapists or physiotherapists treat the patient.

In general, children suffering from seizures are given medication. Depending on how severe they are, surgery may be necessary.

A pediatric neurologist is always the right contact if your child is suffering from a nervous disease. Neuropediatricians are thoroughly familiar with the nervous systems of children and accordingly can rapidly start a targeted course of treatment.

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