What clinical tests are performed by Pediatric Neurologists?
A pediatric doctor is one who specialises in treating illnesses in children. As the conditions can be vast, often requiring specific expertise, doctors may specialise in certain areas such as a pediatric dentist or a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon. When the nature of illness in children is related to the brain or nervous system, a pediatric neurologist needs to be consulted.
The nervous system controls most functions of the human body. In developing children, any problems in this area can affect their growth and health. Symptoms may manifest in the form of headaches, seizures, vision problems, and others. Timely treatment is important to effectively manage symptoms and treat the condition. To ensure your child receives quality care, reach out to the best pediatric neurologist in Kerala for a consultation.
When to visit a Pediatric Neurologist?
Early detection can help doctors create an effective treatment plan and possibly ward off severe developmental concerns. A thorough evaluation of the child’s neurological function may also be done as part of a routine exam or during a newborn screening exam when the baby is born. Additionally, here are some of the symptoms parents should watch out for:
- Persistent headaches
- Unexplained fever
- Numbness or tingling in the limbs
- Poor balance
- Pain or restricted movement in arms and legs
- Visions concerns
- Slurred speech
- Problems with walking or motor functions
- Spine and neck pain caused due to an injury
- Memory loss
- A birth defect in the neck, brain, or spine
What assessment is done by a Pediatric Neurologist?
The neurologist may conduct different exams to judge your child’s condition during your visit. These tests are used to judge the child’s motor skills, reflexes, balance, coordination, and mental awareness or interaction with their environment. Some of the assessment techniques may include:
- Using a reflex hammer on the knees or elbows
- Asking the child to walk or run
- Asking questions or making them repeat certain phrases
- Using lights to check the nervous system and cranial response
Most of these techniques are part of a standard neurological assessment. In case your pediatric doctor notices any cause for concern, they may request for additional clinical tests or refer you to a pediatric surgeon.
What are the clinical tests for evaluating Pediatric Neurological conditions?
Based on your child’s symptoms, age, and neurological assessment, a pediatric neurologist may perform certain clinical tests for an accurate diagnosis. These diagnostic evaluations may include one or a combination of the following:
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
An MRI helps give the doctor a clear view of the inside. In this scan, the machine uses radio waves to give an accurate view of the tissues and bone health. An MRI scan can be used for various body parts including the head, spine, or limbs.
Brain cells form a pattern of communication with each other using electrical impulses. In an EEG exam, electrodes are attached to the head to monitor and record this pattern of communication to identify any abnormal signs of brain activity. Deviations in the pattern here could be indicative of epilepsy or other neurological conditions.
SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) Imaging
This scan uses gamma rays to effectively create 3D pictures of the organs and tissues. It is a non-invasive method that shows the organs. In neurological concerns, it helps pinpoint the origin of seizures in the brain by highlighting the parts where blood flow may be compromised.
PET (Positron Emission Tomography) Scan
A PET scan uses radioactive tracers to check for diseases in the body. These tracers are injected via an IV consisting of a special dye, the organs and tissues absorb this dye and are then studied by the PET scanner to check for metabolic functioning and organ health. This test may also be repeated to check the progress of the treatment.
Children go through numerous changes as they develop. The nervous system is an intricate mix of cells and processes and even a slight issue in one area can lead to varying symptoms. A thorough examination by the best pediatric neurologist in Kerala can check for any neurological concerns at the onset before they can develop further. Timely detection through routine and clinical tests can help limit the symptoms and allow for timely treatment that can go a long way in aiding your child’s development.