Celebrating 10 Years of Deep Brain Stimulation


In September 2017, we celebrated 10 years since the introduction of deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a treatment for patients at Cook Children’s. DBS received a humanitarian device approval from the FDA in 2003 for treatment of dystonia in patients as young as 7 years of age and Director of the Movement Disorders program, Warren … Continue reading Celebrating 10 Years of Deep Brain Stimulation

Improving Diagnosis of Early-life Epilepsy


Over the last decade, genetic testing has become more common as part of the evaluation for pediatric epilepsy. Often, we turn to genetic testing in hopes of better understanding the cause of epilepsies, which have defied diagnosis after a thorough exam, EEG, imaging and laboratory tests. Understanding the genetic basis can impact treatment. As increasing … Continue reading Improving Diagnosis of Early-life Epilepsy

Dedicated Neuroscience ICU


The three primary diagnostic categories of patients discharged from Cook Children’s Pediatric ICU (January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010) were: respiratory (892 patients/24.18% of total discharges), cardiovascular (758/20.55%) and neurologic (617/16.73%). In 2011, Cook Children’s set out to develop its own Neuro Critical Care Program with a vision to improve patient care and outcomes … Continue reading Dedicated Neuroscience ICU

Technology: 3T Intraoperative MRI – Better imaging for better care


MRI images reveal the structure and functional processes of the body to an extent unparalleled by CT scan and other radiographic techniques without exposing patients to ionizing radiation. Hydrogen atoms in our tissues, when subjected to a high-frequency magnetic field, can be induced to generate radio-frequency signals detectable by antennas placed close to the skull. … Continue reading Technology: 3T Intraoperative MRI – Better imaging for better care

Collaborating to Improve Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery


Intractable epilepsy (failure to achieve seizure freedom after trials of two appropriate chosen and dosed antiepileptic drugs) has profound impact on quality of life, psychosocial function, cognitive function, and mortality risk1. For these patients, surgical therapy, consisting of localization and subsequent resection/ablation of the epileptogenic zone can result in favorable seizure reduction and for many, … Continue reading Collaborating to Improve Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery

Epilepsy and Media


Recently, Netflix released their newest movie “The After Party,” a film that chronicles the story of an aspiring young rapper suffering with epilepsy. Struggling to make it in the music industry, he gains notoriety when he has a seizure on stage and the video of the event goes viral. The portrayal of the seizure itself … Continue reading Epilepsy and Media

Research: Lennox Gastaut Syndrome


Lennox Gastaut syndrome (LGS) is a devastating epileptic encephalopathy of childhood. It presents with frequent seizures of multiple types (tonic, atonic, tonic-clonic, absence, myoclonic), cognitive delays and generalized slow spike wave on EEG studies. The seizures are notoriously difficult to control and patients often fail multiple medications, dietary therapy and palliative surgeries. Recognizing the need … Continue reading Research: Lennox Gastaut Syndrome

Improving Quality of Life in Medulloblastoma Survivors


With increasing survival rates for pediatric cancer patients, efforts to improve long-term quality of life have become a focus in research. Evidence-based research has demonstrated that social functioning contributes to health-related quality of life (HRQOL), and pediatric brain tumor survivors tend to have the poorest HRQOL among pediatric cancer survivors. However, specific contributing factors underlying … Continue reading Improving Quality of Life in Medulloblastoma Survivors

Concussion – Primary Steps for Primary Care


A concussion is a trauma-related pathophysiological process that affects the neurometabolic function of the brain. Concussions are quite prevalent; the CDC reports 3.8 million sport-related brain injuries occur annually. It is estimated in middle school and high school children, up to 20% of children have suffered a concussion. In the majority of patients, post-concussive symptoms … Continue reading Concussion – Primary Steps for Primary Care

Chiari I Malformations – Primary Steps for Primary Care


Anxiety related to unexpected abnormal findings disclosed by imaging studies obtained during workup of headache or trauma is a frequent reason for referral to neurosurgery. A frequent incidental imaging finding is a Chiari I malformation, i.e., the presence of low-lying cerebellar tonsils, usually unaccompanied by other significant imaging findings. While the estimated prevalence of Chiari malformations is … Continue reading Chiari I Malformations – Primary Steps for Primary Care