Neurosciences Center

Conditions We Treat

Seattle Children’s caring doctors diagnose and treat newborns through young adults with all types of conditions that affect the brain and spinal cord.

Please contact the Neurosciences Center at 206-987-2016 if you have concerns about any condition, even if it’s not listed here.

Providers, see how to refer a patient.

  • Arachnoid cyst

    A fluid-filled sac between the skull or brain and the membrane that covers them (arachnoid membrane). Learn more.

  • Brain or spinal abscess

    An infection caused by bacteria or . It often spreads to the brain or spine from another part of the body. Learn more.

  • Brain and spinal cord tumors

    A lump of abnormal cells in the brain or spinal cord. The tumor may be noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). Learn more.

  • Cavernous malformations

    Clusters of abnormal blood vessels that sometimes form in the brain and spinal cord. Learn more.

  • Cerebral palsy and spasticity

    A condition that affects your child’s muscle tone and ability to move in a coordinated way. It may involve stiff or uncontrollable muscle tightening or twitching. Learn more.

  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT)

    Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is a group of genetic conditions that affect the long nerves branching from your child’s spinal cord into distant parts of their body, like their arms and legs. CMT causes muscles to become weaker and smaller (atrophy). Learn more.

  • Chiari malformation

    A problem in the way parts of the brain are shaped and how they sit in the skull. Learn more.

  • Concussion

    A brain injury caused by a bump or blow to the head or body that makes the brain move back and forth inside the skull. Learn more about concussion.

  • Craniosynostosis

    When a seam connecting the bones of a baby’s skull closes earlier than normal. It can increase pressure inside the skull. Learn more.

  • Developmental delays

    When a child develops more slowly than other kids in abilities such as movement, social skills, handling emotions, language and processing information, our Neurodevelopmental team can help.

  • Encephalocele

    A rare condition where a baby’s skull does not close properly. Part of the baby’s brain or the covering of the brain and spinal cord may come through the hole in the skull. Learn more.

  • Epilepsy and seizures

    Abnormal electrical or chemical activity in the brain causes seizures. In epilepsy, a child has repeated seizures. They may cause staring spells, twitching, jerking arms and legs or passing out. Learn more.

  • Headaches and migraines

    Tension headaches and migraines are common types of headaches in children. Only about 10% of headaches are caused by serious medical conditions like infections. Our Headache Program brings together an expert team to diagnose and treat your child’s headaches.

  • Hydrocephalus

    A harmful buildup of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain. This puts pressure on a child’s brain. Learn more.

  • Inflammatory Brain Disorders

    Some children with severe problems related to their thinking, learning or mental health have inflammatory brain disorders. Most often they happen because a child’s immune system attacks their brain (autoimmune). Our Inflammatory Brain Disorders Clinic brings together experts in neurosciences and rheumatology to diagnose and treat your child.

  • Lipomyelomeningocele

    A fatty lump on the back that attaches to the spinal cord and may slowly pull on the cord. The lump is present at birth. Learn more.

  • Mitochondrial and other neurometabolic disorders

    Problems with how the body turns food into energy may affect the nervous system and cause neurometabolic disorders. Mitochondrial disorders affect the parts of cells that help make energy. Experts in our Mitochondrial Medicine and Metabolism Clinic care for kids with these conditions.

  • Movement disorders

    Conditions that affect how your child moves. They may cause movement that is slow and stiff (bradykinesia) or sudden and jerky (myoclonus). Read more about tics (PDF), which can be part of Tourette syndrome.

  • Moyamoya

    A problem with blood flow to the brain caused by narrowing of major blood vessels to the brain. It increases the chance of stroke. Learn more.

  • Muscular dystrophy (MD)

    A group of diseases that cause muscles to weaken over time. MD is passed from parent to child through genes. These disorders vary from mild to severe. Examples are Duchenne muscular dystrophy and myotonic muscular dystrophy.

  • Myelomeningocele

    A small sac containing parts of the spinal cord and nerves that pushes through open spine bones and sticks out a baby’s back. This birth defect causes nerve damage and can affect your baby’s feeling, movement and bladder or bowel control. It is the most serious form of spina bifidaLearn more.

  • Neurofibromatosis

    Neurofibromatosis is a group of disorders of the nervous system that most often affect the growth and development of nerve cells. The conditions can cause tumors that are not cancerous (benign) to grow on nerves. They may affect bones, skin and learning. Learn more.

  • Spinal muscle atrophy (SMA)

    A genetic disease that causes loss of muscle control. It can be life threatening. Learn more.

  • Spinal tumors

    Abnormal growths in the bones of the spine (vertebrae) or in the soft tissue around the vertebrae. Learn more.

  • Stroke

    When blood stops flowing to part of the brain. It is a medical emergency because the brain is not getting oxygen and nutrients. Learn more.

  • Syringomyelia

    A collection of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the center of the spinal cord. Learn more.

  • Tethered spinal cord

    When the spinal cord is pulled down and stuck to the inner bones of the spine rather than floating free in the spinal canal. Learn more.

  • Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC)

    A rare genetic disease that causes noncancerous tumors to grow in various parts of the body, including the brain and other vital organs. Learn more.

  • Vascular diseases of the brain and spinal cord

    Cerebrovascular diseases (such as stroke and moyamoya) affect the tubes (veins and arteries) that carry blood in and around the brain and . Read about vascular diseases of the brain and spinal cord.  

Contact Us

For more information, contact the Neurosciences Center at 206-987-2016.

Providers, see how to refer a patient.

Paying for Care

Learn about paying for care at Seattle Children’s, including insurance coverage, billing and financial assistance.

Telemedicine at Seattle Children’s

Your child’s first appointment in our clinic will be in person and take about 90 minutes. Later visits may be offered via telehealth (virtual). Learn more.