A pediatric neurologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating neurological disorders in children. These disorders can range from problems with the brain, spinal cord, and nerves to seizures and developmental delays. Pediatric neurologists have extensive training in pediatrics and neurology, which allows them to provide comprehensive care for their young patients. Pediatric neurologists diagnose and treat children who suffer from a wide range of complications and conditions. This article looks at some common conditions that can prompt a Morgan Hill, CA pediatric neurologist visit.
Ataxia is a neurological disorder that results in an inability to coordinate muscle movements. In the most severe cases, ataxia can severely impact a child’s quality of life and put them at risk for injury. Symptoms vary from mild tremors to full body spasms and may include balance problems, slowed or slurred speech, impaired eye movement, and difficulty swallowing. Treatments for ataxia range from medication to surgery, depending on the severity of the condition.
Tourette syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movements and vocalizations known as tics. Tics typically appear in early childhood and can be made worse by emotional stress or mental distraction. While there is no cure for Tourette syndrome, medication and behavioral therapy can help control symptoms.
Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain that causes seizures. Seizures can vary in severity, from mild muscle spasms to full-blown convulsions. Epilepsy can be caused by various factors, including a head injury, illness during birth, or a tumor. In most cases, epilepsy is treated by a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. Beyond treating symptoms, surgery may also be used to reduce the risk of future seizures in patients with severe cases.
Batten disease is a rare genetic disorder that typically begins before five. It’s characterized by loss of muscle coordination, seizures, and mental impairment. Eventually, Batten disease leads to blindness, deafness, and death. There is currently no cure for Batten disease, but research is underway to find effective treatments.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a genetic neurological disorder that causes weakness and stiffness in the legs and feet. The muscles in the lower leg progressively weaken over time, causing a loss of motor function. As with other neurodegenerative diseases, Charcot-Marie-Tooth has no cure. Treatment focuses on managing symptoms and preventing further damage to the nervous system.
A cerebral aneurysm is a weak spot in a blood vessel that can cause the vessel to bulge and leak. Children develop cerebral aneurysms due to a congenital condition or complications of an infection such as meningitis. An unruptured aneurysm may not cause any symptoms, but if it ruptures, blood vessels in the brain will swell and put pressure on surrounding tissue. If left untreated, high pressure inside the skull can be life-threatening. In most cases, cerebral aneurysms are treated with surgery.
In summary, a pediatric neurologist is a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating neurological disorders in children. They treat various conditions such as epilepsy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, cerebral aneurysm, and batten disease. Tourette syndrome, epilepsy, and ataxia are other conditions a pediatric neurologist can treat.