Table of contents:
- Conditions and Diseases Treated by Pediatric Neurologists
- Actions Performed by Pediatric Neurologists
- When should a child be seen by a pediatric neurologist?
- Preparation Before Consultation with Pediatric Neurologist
Pediatric neurologist is a pediatrician who specializes in treating various conditions due to nervous system disorders in children, such as seizures or epilepsy, difficulty moving or walking, to decreased consciousness or coma
The nervous system and brain are very important organ systems. This system functions to control consciousness, body movements, thinking abilities, and the five senses, such as smell, hearing, and sight.
In some conditions, disturbances in the nervous system of children can occur. Nervous system disorders in children can occur in the brain, spine, nerves, or muscles. This is where the role of pediatric neurologists comes into play.
Conditions and Diseases Treated by Pediatric Neurologists
Pediatric neurologists have the ability to examine, treat, and prevent various diseases of the nervous system and brain of children. The following are some of the types of diseases in question:
- Infections in the brain and nervous system of children, such as meningitis, encephalitis, or brain abscess
- Brain development disorders, including cerebral palsy or cerebral palsy
- Developmental disorders, such as speech delays and motor growth disorders
- Coordination of body movements, such as ataxia
- Peripheral nerve disorders or peripheral neuropathy
- Autoimmune diseases that attack the nervous system or brain, such as motor nerve disease, multiple sclerosis, and myasthenia gravis
- Genetic disorders of the nerves and brain, such as Huntington's disease, Ramsay Hunt syndrome, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
- Tumor and brain cancer
- Aneurysm or cerebral hemorrhage
- Autonomic nervous system disorders, such as urinary or stool incontinence
In addition, pediatric neurologists also treat cases of head injuries and neurological and brain disorders due to poisoning in infants, children, and adolescents.
Actions Performed by Pediatric Neurologists
Pediatric neurologist can perform a series of examinations to determine the diagnosis and severity of neurological or brain disorders suffered by infants, children, and adolescents.
The examination consists of a physical examination and neurological examination in children, evaluation of the child's growth and development, as well as supporting examinations which include:
- Blood and urine test
- Lumbar puncture or cerebrospinal fluid analysis
- radiological examination, such as X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, or PET scan
- Electromyography (EMG), which is an examination to assess nerve function in the muscles of the body
- Tensilon test to detect myasthenia gravis
- Electroencephalogram (EEG) to detect abnormalities in brain waves or electrical activity in the brain's neural network
- Brain and nerve tissue biopsy
- Sleep study
After the diagnosis of neurological and brain diseases in children is known, the pediatric neurologist can only provide treatment according to the type of disease and its severity. Types of handling that are generally carried out include:
Giving of drugs aims to overcome complaints and neurological diseases in children.For example, anticonvulsants to treat seizures, muscle relaxants to treat muscle stiffness, antibiotics to treat infections, and corticosteroids to treat inflammation that damages the brain and nerves.
In addition to medication, doctors can also refer patients to pediatric surgeons or neurosurgeons to treat neurological diseases that require surgery, such as tumors or brain cancer.
In order to improve the ability to move the body, pediatric neurologists will advise patients to undergo physiotherapy, especially for children who have impaired or weak limbs. Doctors can also advise patients with speech disorders to undergo speech therapy.
In certain cases, doctors can also provide inpatient treatment at the hospital for patients with severe conditions. During hospitalization, patients will receive treatment as needed, such as infusion therapy and injections of drugs.
When should a child be seen by a pediatric neurologist?
Infants, children, or adolescents should be examined by a pediatric neurologist if they experience the following signs or symptoms:
- Severe headaches or frequent migraines
- Numbness or tingling that doesn't go away
- Frequent seizures
- Body shaking or tremors are severe enough to interfere with daily activities
- Loss of consciousness or coma
- Difficulty speaking
- Sleep problems, such as insomnia
- Disorders with certain senses, such as visual or hearing impairment
- Difficulty learning or experiencing growth and development disorders
Preparation Before Consultation with Pediatric Neurologist
If you want to take your child to a pediatric neurologist, you are advised to prepare the following:
- To record the symptoms and complaints experienced by the child
- To record the child's medical history, including allergies or previous illnesses, history of the child's condition during pregnancy, and family history of illness
- Bringing medicines that are being consumed by children
- Bring the results of previous checks, if any
If your child has symptoms, complaints, or conditions as mentioned above, don't hesitate to take him to a pediatric neurologist for proper examination and treatment. In choosing a pediatric neurologist, you can ask for a referral or ask a pediatrician.