Pediatric neurologist

What does a pediatric neurologist do?

  A pediatric neurologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system, neurological diseases, as well as the treatment of diseases of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves in infants, children and adolescents.

What does a pediatric neurologist treat?

A pediatric neurologist assesses a child's development, but also diagnoses and treats neuromuscular diseases (muscular dystrophy), perinatal injuries (for example, brachial plexus injury), cerebral palsy, behavioral and developmental disorders, spinal cord hernia, acquired brain damage, epilepsy, defects of the central nervous system, sciatica, shoulder and other spinal diseases, speech disorders, encephalitis and meningitis, headaches, migraines, states after head injury, speech or sleep disorders, as well as autism, ADHD, and genetic diseases.

When is it advisable to visit a pediatric neurologist?

Neurological control in the case of the youngest children is indicated when: the pregnancy was at risk or multiple, the woman had infections, viral diseases or took medication during pregnancy, delivery was by caesarean section or had complications such as hypoxia or asphyxia, and the child is premature The baby was born with low weight.

In the case of infants, disturbing symptoms that are an indication for consultation include: body asymmetry, abnormal muscle tone (flaccidity or increased tension), flexing and bending the body backwards while lying down, fist clenching and thumb retraction. Frequent colic and vomiting, as well as problems with eating, as well as sleep disorders (when the child sleeps restlessly, sleeps little or sleeps all day), often or rarely cries, may also lead to a visit to a pediatric neurologist. Consultation with a pediatric neurologist is also indicated when the infant shows a lack of eye contact with others or a lack of interest in the environment and toys.

Both in the youngest and older children, the following are worrying: body tremors or seizures, drug reactions, developmental regression, gait and fluidity disorders, problems with memory and concentration, fainting, frequent loss of consciousness, hearing, vision, sleep or feeling disorders , headaches, dizziness, tics, migraines and learning difficulties.

A pediatric neurologist should be consulted if disturbing symptoms are observed, especially those that are recurrent.

Pediatric neurologist examination

A visit to a pediatric neurologist is usually initiated by a pediatrician who refers a small patient for consultation. How to prepare for it? Since the main element of a visit to a pediatric neurologist is a detailed interview with the patient, the following should be collected:

  • child's medical records,
  • own notes and observations,
  • pregnancy record (if the patient is a newborn or infant),
  • notes on neurological diseases in the family and a list of medications that the child is taking.

The neurological examination includes the head, body posture, gait, and upper and lower limbs. The neurologist also tests sensation and reflexes with a special hammer, asks you to perform simple exercises and movements, such as closing or opening your eyes, squeezing your hand, standing on your fingers or touching the tip of your nose with your finger.

After the examination, depending on the result and symptoms, the doctor may decide to:

  • more specialized tests (computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, EEG),
  • consultations - for example with a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist, as well as other specialists (for example, an otolaryngologist in the case of a headache that may be caused by chronic sinusitis)
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