Neurology

At The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, the region’s littlest patients affected by neurological illness or injury have close-to-home access to an exceptional depth and breadth of diagnostic and treatment expertise. We are Maine’s only hospital with Board certified, fellowship-trained pediatric neurologists, epileptologists (epilepsy specialists), and a pediatric neurosurgeon.

We also offer a Newborn Neurology Service run by a Board certified fellowship trained pediatric and neonatal neurologist working closely with maternal fetal medicine specialists and a team of neonatologists who offer diagnostic imaging during pregnancy and, inpatient acute care of newborns with congenital or acquired brain injury. And when neurological deficits are caused by a brain tumor or other type of cancer, our Maine Children’s Cancer Program offers an exceptional level of outstanding neuro-oncology expertise and compassionate care.

Specialty Clinics

BBCH is home to one of only two general muscular dystrophy clinics in Maine supported by the Muscular Dystrophy Association. We have several other specialty resources related to neurological disease including:

  • Spina Bifida Program
  • Expert resources for behavioral and development pediatrics and genetics.
  • Duchenne Clinic which takes an integrated care approach with specialists in areas including Pediatric Neurology, Pediatric Pulmonology, Pediatric Endocrine, Palliative Care, PT, OT, Speech, Population Health RN case management, Nutrition, and an orthotist.

Program Highlights

  • A coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to care in a collegial environment that includes the referring physician and the family
  • Support resources for patients and their families across all settings, including the services of a specialized Neurosciences Patient and Family Liaison who is available to provide expert, personalized and compassionate support to patients and their families throughout the continuum of care, in both inpatient and outpatient settings
  • A multidisciplinary pediatric sleep medicine evaluation including experts in pediatric sleep from neurology, pulmonology, and otolaryngology to diagnose and manage sleep disordered breathing, sleep related behaviors and movement disorders, insomnia, narcolepsy and, sleep related epilepsies

Conditions, Diagnosis & Treatment

Learn more about conditions we treat, diagnosis and treatment options we offer.

Conditions

Medical Conditions

  • Epilepsy and other seizure disorders
  • Pediatric sleep disorders
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Pediatric migraine/headaches
  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Motor and speech/developmental delays
  • Mental retardation/genetic disorders
  • Neurogenetic and neurometabolic conditions including leukodystrophies, mitochondrial disorders, and chromosomal rearrangements and/or deletions
  • Neuroimmunologic disorders including multiple sclerosis (MS), acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), Guillain-Barre syndrome, and paraneoplastic disorders of the nervous system
  • Neuromuscular disease including myopathy, muscular dystrophy, peripheral neuropathies, and myasthenia gravis as well as availability of a multidisciplinary MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) clinic
  • Movement disorders and Tourette’s syndrome
  • Peripheral neuropathies

Surgical Conditions

  • Scoliosis
  • Arteriovenous malformation (AVM)
  • Vein of Galen malformation (VGM)
  • Chiari malformation
  • Moyamoya disease
  • Malignant and non-malignant brain tumors
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Spina bifida
  • Trauma

Diagnosis

The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital has the diagnostic capabilities to perform comprehensive evaluations for pediatric patients with most neurological conditions. These capabilities include:

  • State-of-the art MRI services, bi-plane cerebral angiography, and nuclear medicine investigation
  • MR spectroscopy to assess the metabolic status of a tumor, helping to differentiate between tumor recurrence and tissue necrosis
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) to record the brain's electrical activity and help distinguish types of seizures and where in the brain they begin
  • Electromyography (EMG) to help find the cause of muscle weaknesses and help diagnose neuromuscular disorders such as motor neuron disease, neuropathy, and nerve and muscle damage
  • Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) test to measure the speed at which sensory and motor nerves transmit signals
  • Electronystagmography (ENG) to look at voluntary and involuntary eye movements and evaluate the acoustic nerve Evoked Potentials to test motor and sensory nerve function
  • 72-hour Ambulatory EEG to help distinguish epileptic seizures from non-epileptic seizures by monitoring brain activity over several days
  • Video/EEG Monitoring, the "gold standard" in the diagnosis of seizures in which the EEG is recorded for a prolonged period, accompanied by continuous closed-circuit video observation.
  • Neuropsychological testing
  • PSG (polysomnogram) test to help diagnose pediatric sleep disorders

Treatment

Our pediatric neurologists are on the leading edge of medical and technological advances for treating children with neurological conditions. We offer these state-of-the-art treatments:

  • Intrathecal baclofen pump (IBP) management to help decrease spasticity related to multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and other neurological diseases
  • Vagal nerve stimulation (VNS)
  • Botulinum toxin (Botox) therapy for such conditions as spasticity and dystonia
  • Innovative medical and alternative therapies for children with autism spectrum disorders
  • Surgical treatment options, when appropriate, from Maine’s only pediatric neurosurgeon