During its development, the neuron can be affected by lesions. The neuron can therefore be the cause of nervous disorders, or even be the origin of rare diseases at a more complex level. As a pediatric reference center, COP9 and Dr. Stephanie Zwillinger present here a specialty of pediatric medicine: neuropediatrics. The neuropediatrician diagnoses and manages neurological disorders, which will be defined in this article. But they also work as a team in order to propose a rehabilitation adapted to the child! Want to know more? We invite you to read this article to discover in detail neuropediatrics and the neuropediatrician!
Do you know what neuropediatrics is ?
Neuropediatrics is a profession with which Dr. Stephanie Zwillinger’s COP9 medical team works daily. The pediatrician is trained in pediatric neurology.
It is a subspecialty branch of pediatric medicine. It focuses on the development of the nervous system of babies and children. The disorders and diseases related to this development are diagnosed and then receive the appropriate follow-up care and treatment.
Disorders treated in neuropediatrics can be:
- specific disorders: dyspraxia, dysphasia, dyslexia, dyscalculia, etc;
- neurodevelopmental disorders: slow learning and learning disabilities
The pathologies of the nervous system diagnosed by the neuropediatrician can be diseases :
- of the brain: epilepsy, meningitis, etc. ;
- of nerves: neuropathy, pathology of small fiber, etc
- muscles: myopathy, dystonia, etc. ;
- of the marrow: myelitis, etc. ;
- neurodegenerative (rare diseases): Charcot disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease…
This pediatric specialty benefits from rapid advances in brain imaging, neuroscience and new treatments.
Parents, do not hesitate to make an appointment in neuropediatrics when your ophthalmologist invites you to do so following your child’s vision examination. You will be ensuring an efficient and qualitative care of neurological disorders!
Understanding better the origin of neurological pathologies thanks to neuropediatrics
Neuropediatrics separates the nervous system, and thus neurological conditions, into two large categories:
- the central nervous system;
- the peripheral nervous system.
The central nervous system consists of the brain, which controls the body’s functions, and the spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system is the network of nerves that connect the central nervous system to the rest of the body. This system will carry motor and sensory information.
Many of these neurological pathologies have a generic origin. However, neuroscience, in constant evolution, cannot always find and prove the cause of these disorders.
Dr. Stephanie Zwillinger is specialized in pediatrics, and will be able to monitor your child effectively. She has built a multidisciplinary pediatric team at the heart of COP9: her team of psychomotricians and orthoptists offers effective rehabilitation, depending on the type of neurological impairment your child has. Do not hesitate to make an appointment!
What examinations are performed in neuropediatrics?
Neuropediatrics is a medical science that involves diagnosing children with symptoms suggesting the presence of a nervous system disorder.
Complementary examinations are performed during appointments in the neurology department, specialized in neuropediatrics. Cognitive and muscular aspects are evaluated on the basis of the potential disorders that have been evoked.
The examinations that can be performed in neuropediatrics are the following:
- obtain imaging with an electromyogram (EMG), CT scan or MRI.
- test motor skills: push, squeeze, move…to identify any abnormal movements;
- observe nerve impulses: follow the eyes, smile, move the head, react to sounds…
- test the sensory: a stimulation to the touch of soft objects, with pins, in relief….
What treatments are given in neuropediatrics?
Once the prognosis has been established by the specialist, therapeutic solutions are proposed to young patients with one or more nervous system pathologies:
- Medicated solution: treatment adapted to the child given by the neuropediatrician;
- rehabilitation: psychomotor therapy, physiotherapy, etc. ;
- readaptation: occupational therapy sessions, special needs facilities, etc..
Neuropediatrics therefore includes a diagnostic phase and then the treatment of young patients suffering from a disease of the central or peripheral neurological system or a developmental disorder.
The neuropediatrician works in a multidisciplinary manner with ophthalmologists, orthoptists, psychologists or occupational therapists, as well as other medical specialists in order to provide the child with a complete and personalized coordinated healthcare program.
Therapies and treatments adapted to neurological disorders are proposed by the pediatric neurologist. These therapeutic proposals are made in consultation with the parents and the medical team, in order to respect and follow the rhythm and needs of the child.
Dr. Zwillinger’s COP9 team hopes that this article has helped to inform you about diseases of the nervous system, where neuronal impairment is observed. Causing cognitive and muscular disorders, and even serious neurological disorders, these pediatric neurological diseases, still too little known, deserve the full attention of parents in order to offer their child the best medical care during the course of their development.