Pediatric neurology deals with diseases, disorders and injuries that can affect a child's brain, spinal cord, and all associated blood vessels, muscles and nerves. If your child has a problem involving the nervous system, Cook Children's pediatric neurologists have the special training and experience necessary to diagnose and treat your child.
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Pediatric neurologists are medical doctors who have completed four years of medical school, at least one to two years of pediatric residency, and three or more years of residency training in adult and child neurology. In addition, most pediatric neurologists have certification from the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (with special competency in child neurology).
Our neurologists specialize in the care of children, teens and young adults, and many also have additional subspecialty training and certifications. Some of these specialty areas include epilepsy (epileptologist), sleep medicine, pain management, neurophysiology, psychiatry, headaches and movement disorders. In order to diagnose, treat, and manage complex neurological conditions, the neurologist performs neurological examinations of the nerves of the head and neck; muscle strength and movement; balance, ambulation and reflexes; and sensation, memory, speech, language, and other cognitive abilities.
Cook Children’s neurologists work with many specialists, including epileptologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, nurse educators, social workers and Child Life specialists, to provide some of the most comprehensive care possible for your child. Because neurological conditions usually affect physical and mental abilities in other areas of the body and brain, we also have very close relationships with other specialties across the system such as the heart center, oncology, genetics, gastroenterology and orthopedics. Of course, the most important members of our team are you and your family. Our goal is to provide the best plan of care that works for you and your child to help assure that your journey is as successful as possible.
The specialty clinics at the Jane and John Justin Neurosciences Center at Cook Children’s allow our specialists to diagnose, evaluate and treat very specific neurological conditions. Each member of our clinic teams brings highly specialized care and treatment to your child. Our continually expanding neurosciences center offers a growing number of specialty clinics, including:
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Conditions we treat
The pediatric neurologist examines the nerves of the head and neck to evaluate muscle strength, movement, balance and reflexes. The neurologist also evaluates sensation, memory, speech, language and other cognitive abilities in order to diagnose, treat and manage the following conditions:
- Seizure disorders , including seizures in infants, infantile spasms, febrile convulsions, epilepsy, genetically-related seizure disorders, tuberous sclerosis
- Traumatic brain injury, stroke, medical aspects of head injuries and brain tumors
- Cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, nerve-muscle disorders
- Movement disorders such as dystonia, spasticity, ataxia and Tourette syndrome
- Headaches including migraines
Testing and diagnosis
Cook Children's offers some of the most advanced, kid-friendly care in the nation. With leading-edge imaging and diagnostic capabilities, our specialists are able to better treat patients and help them get back to doing what they do best: being kids.
The Neurodiagnostic Center at Cook Children's offers the most innovative and advanced technologies to diagnose, evaluate, and treat the conditions that affect a child's brain and development. At Cook Children's, you'll have access to leading-edge resources, brilliant doctors, and a team of highly skilled medical professionals who specialize in pediatric neurology. All with one purpose in mind: to help your child have the best quality of care possible. Learn more.
The iMRI suite is a special operating room developed for brain surgery. It combines innovative surgical and imaging tools in one place. Surgeons can take high-quality MRIs during surgery to see the area of the brain they are operating on, the size and shape of tumors, and the difference between healthy and unhealthy tissue. And because surgeons have the ability to see and remove the entire tumor during one surgery, these tools make surgery more precise, reducing risk and the need for a second surgery. Learn more.
The latest development in magnetic imaging technology, the MEG makes finding and diagnosing a brain condition much easier for our doctors. Billions of neurons fire off trillions of electric signals, making the brain a very busy place. The MEG maps all of that activity so that doctors can pinpoint with incredible accuracy where in the brain the seizure is occurring and what removing tissue from that area may affect, like speech. This helps to determine the best course of treatment for each patient. Learn more.
Designed especially for patients with difficult to diagnose and control seizures, our advanced Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) offers the latest in high-tech evaluation tools. State-of-the-art wireless technology lets our team of highly trained EEG technologists record a child's brain activity while they do kid activities: visiting with other patients on the unit or in the play area, playing games, doing crafts, and sleeping. All in a safe environment surrounded by a specialized care team. Learn more.
3D modeling offers a unique dimension in the diagnosis and treatment of brain conditions. Advanced techniques create an actual 3D image of your child's brain. The neuro team then uses this image to map the location of tumors, epileptic seizures, and other neurologic conditions. This is especially useful in pinpointing a surgical area and determining the best course of treatment for your child. Learn more.
Our specialty care team
Our pediatric neurologists treat children from birth into young adulthood. They choose to focus their medical practice on caring for children and young people, and their advanced training and experience give them the exceptional ability to meet the needs of each patient with neurological problems.
The experts in the Cook Children's neurosciences program include neurologists, neurosurgeons, nurses and nurse practitioners, psychologists, electroencephalography (EEG) technologists, medical assistants and administrative staff. Because we have these experts on hand, we are able to provide some of the most comprehensive patient-centered care for the children in our community and surrounding regions.
Marcie Baldwin RN, CPNP
Lindsey Benefield RN, CPNP-AC
Jerico Pimentel RN, CPNP
Esther Smith RN, MSN, CPNP-PC, CPNP-AC
Joy Zajac RN, MSN, CPNP-PC
Our neurosciences team serves more than 20,000 patients each year, and we provide patient families with:
We are here to help.
If your child has been diagnosed, you probably have lots of questions. Call our offices at: 682-885-2500 to schedule an appointment, refer a patient or speak to our staff.