Pediatric neurology is a medical discipline that aims to confront and, as effectively as possible, treat the unique neurological problems associated with young people, specifically those under 18 years of age. Typically, a regular neurologist will handle older patients. A wide variety of neurological disorders, such as epilepsy and neurological diseases, can be present in unique forms in children. It is the job of a pediatric neurologist to be familiar with these forms and to work to treat them.
There are different kinds of specialists involved in the field of pediatric neurology. Pediatric neurologists are physicians who work to diagnose and treat neurological problems in children to the best of their abilities. They specialize in performing often complex surgeries concerning the nervous systems of children. Neurological issues can overlap with other fields as well. While mild sleep disorders, for example, can usually be treated by general pediatricians, sometimes neurologists are necessary to diagnose and solve such problems.
The field covers a broad array of areas within a child's body. Pediatric neurologists are primarily interested in disorders of the central, autonomous, and peripheral nervous systems, but they are often also called upon to examine the blood vessels, nerve coverings, and effector tissues, such as muscles, that are closely related to the nervous system.
There are several neurological disorders that are common in children. Epilepsy is a seizure-causing disorder that is most common in children and in people over the age of 65. Generally, most of the symptoms of epilepsy can be controlled but not cured, although the symptoms of this condition may change over time. It is the role of a pediatric neurologist to confront the symptoms of epilepsy that are unique to children.
Neuromuscular diseases, such as cerebral palsy, can cause severe physical disability in children. In some cases, children have developmental delays that can be linked to neural causes. Children often get unexplained headaches that are related to problems in the central nervous system. Learning and behavioral disorders, such as attention-deficit disorder (ADD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), are also common. Pediatric neurologists are specially trained to recognize and, in any way possible, treat these unique neural problems of children.