Neurology is the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord. The experts at Seattle Children’s evaluate and care for babies, children and teens with many kinds of neurological conditions, including cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Seattle Children’s has the only comprehensive epilepsy program in the Pacific Northwest especially for children and teens. Our clinic is the main teaching site for the University of Washington's nationally recognized program for licensed doctors who are receiving specialized training in pediatric neurology.

Caring for children with complex neurological conditions requires the skills of specialists in many fields of medicine. At Seattle Children’s, your child's healthcare team may include surgeons, nurse practitioners, neuropsychologists, dietitians and social workers.

Awards and Recognition

US News and World Report Neurology 2017-18 In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Seattle Children’s as the #1 neurology and neurosurgery program in the Northwest – and among the best nationally.

Conditions We Treat

We see children with a broad range of neurological conditions, including:

  • Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects your child's muscle tone and ability to move on purpose in a coordinated way. Cerebral palsy can lead to other health issues, including vision, hearing and speech problems and learning disabilities. CP is most often caused by damage to the brain. There is no cure for CP. Treatment, therapy, special equipment and, in some cases, surgery can help your child live with the condition. Read more about cerebral palsy.

  • Children who develop at a slower rate compared to other children in their age group may have what healthcare providers call developmental delays. Developmental delays can refer to the rate at which children's senses develop, how they grow socially or emotionally, or how fast they learn language and other skills having to do with processing information.

  • In general, children get the same types of headaches as adults. Some types can be hereditary, meaning if you have headaches, your child may, too. Most headaches aren't signs that something more is wrong. Only about 10 percent of headaches are caused by medical conditions such as infections or other serious illnesses. Two of the more common types of headaches children get are tension headaches and migraines. Read more.

  • Neurometabolic disorders are problems with the way the body converts food to energy. Mitochondria in our cells help make almost all of the energy people need to live and grow. In children with mitochondrial disorders, these energy-making areas do not work properly. This damages cells and causes different kinds of symptoms, depending on which cells are damaged.

  • Movement disorders are sets of symptoms that affect the way your child moves. The term includes many different disorders, from slow and stiff movement (bradykinesia) to movements that are sudden and jerky (myoclonus). Movement disorders can come with other medical problems. Tics, for example, may be part of Tourette syndrome.

  • Moyamoya is a problem with blood flow to the brain. It happens when the major blood vessels to the brain become narrowed. This narrowing decreases the space inside the vessels, making it harder for oxygen-rich blood to get through. Moyamoya slows blood flow to the brain, increasing the chance that a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke will happen. These events can cause lasting brain damage or death. If your child has symptoms of a TIA or stroke, get medical help right away. Read more.

  • Muscular dystrophy refers to a group of diseases that gradually cause muscles to weaken. MD is a genetic disorder, passed from parent to child through genes. These disorders vary in many ways. Some affect children, others adts. Some disorders are very severe and get worse fast; others cause fewer problems and worsen slowly. In most cases, however, people with MD become unable to walk. While there is no cure, treatment can help people do things for themselves for as long as possible and prevent complications.

  • A seizure occurs when there is an abnormal, sudden electrical discharge from the brain cells. Depending on which cells are involved, children may pass out (lose consciousness) and jerk their arms and legs (convulsions). Or they may have a type of seizure that is harder to notice, such as a staring spell or twitching in one side of the face. Epilepsy is a condition in which a child has seizures again and again (recurrent seizures). Read more.

  • Stroke happens when blood that carries oxygen and nutrients stops flowing to part of the brain. Without a steady supply of blood, brain cells in the area begin to die within minutes. Stroke can happen at any age — in newborns, children, adolescents and even before birth. The causes, symptoms and treatments are often different in young people than in adults. A stroke is a medical emergency. If you think a child is having a stroke, call 911. Read more.

  • Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a rare genetic disease that causes tumors to grow in various parts of the body, including the brain and other vital organs. Though the tumors are benign (non-cancerous), they impact a child’s development in a variety of ways depending on where they grow and how big they get.

Subspecialties We Offer

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