Pediatric neurologists are physicians trained to diagnose, evaluate, treat and manage neurological disorders affecting children, such as learning diabilities or neuromuscular disorders.

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About Pediatric Neurology

Child neurologists (also known as pediatric neurologists) focus on the diagnosis, treatment and management of neurological disorders and/or diseases that affect children. Pediatric neurologists may also provide critical care and rehabilitation for a wide range of pediatric neurological disorders. These disorders may include cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, epilepsy, certain metabolic diseases, aneurysms, neurogenetic disorders, autism, neuromuscular disorders, behavioral disorders, headaches, sleep disorders, brain tumors, spina bifida and many other challenging complications affecting the nervous system.

To diagnose patients, these physicians utilize various imaging technologies, performing scans such as PET (Positron Emission Tomography), MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), CT (Computed Tomograpy), and MEG (Magnetoencephalograpy), as well as other neuroimaging technologies including TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation), fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging), EEG (Electroencephalography), NIRS (Near Infared Spectroscopy) and Single Cell Recording, among other neuroimaging techniques. Child neurologists receive specialized training to interpret and study test results, allowing them to diagnose and monitor the child’s neurological condition.

Pediatric neurologists are trained to utilize varioius procedures and techniques when treating children suffering from neurological disorders. Depending upon the diagnosis, physicians may perform: CyberKnife™ procedures, deep brain stimulation, gamma knife radiosurgery or vagal nerve stimulation, among others. Although certain neurological disorders may require a more specialized physician for advanced treatment such as a pediatric neuro-oncologist or pediatric neurosurgeon for certain procedures, pediatric neurologists are capable of managing all neurological disorders, consulting other specialists if or when necessary.

Pediatric Neurology Education & Training

The training to become a pediatric neurologist is highly demanding and rigorous. After earning an undergraduate degree and successful completion of a medical degree, the physician must enter a five year post-graduate residency program that entails two years of training in general pediatrics, one year of general neurology and two years devoted to pediatric neurology. Here, the physician will be trained in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders that are found in children.

After successful completion of a residency, the physician must complete a fellowship program. Fellowships in pediatric neurology typically last two to three years and provide the physician with the option to further specialize in areas such as epilepsy/EEG, neuromuscular diseases, sleep disorders and neurodevelopmental disabilities, among other areas. Following successful completion of these educational requirements, physicians may seek certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) or the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP).