What Does a Child Neurologist
Many specialties exist in medicine, from
cardiology to newborn care to laboratory medicine.
The field of neurology, however, is an exciting one
in that the next five to ten years will be marked
by developments in brain research, epilepsy research,
and new medications to treat neurologic diseases.
Neurologists are physicians with specialized training
in diseases of the brain and nervous system. Adult
neurologists diagnose and manage strokes, seizure
disorders, meningitis, encephalitis, and muscle and
nerve disorders. Some adult neurologists specialize
in Alzheimer’s disease, movement disorders such
as Parkinson’s disease, and surgical treatment
Child neurologists, however, are physicians with
training in pediatrics and pediatric neurology. Their
specialized training includes expertise in attention
disorders, learning difficulties, childhood epilepsy
and seizures, congenital brain malformations, childhood
stroke, and developmental and behavioral issues of
infancy and childhood. A child neurologist will, at
times, follow patients well into adulthood for neurologic
problems that began in childhood, including possible
Attention Deficit Disorders and learning disabilities.
The next five to ten years are an exciting time for
child neurologists because certain previously undiagnosed
neurological disorders will become more diagnosable
with genetic testing. Cerebral palsy research will
continue, and new medications to treat behavior, seizures
and learning disorders may become available.
All in all, the opportunities for evaluation and
treatment of neurological problems of childhood has
never been better for the pediatric community and
for those who take care of children. These last years
have been termed the "Decade of the Brain"
and are certainly a rewarding and encouraging time
for those of us involved with children who have special