It is a specialty that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of brain, spinal cord, nerve and muscle diseases of children between the ages of 0-18. As growth and development continue in children, neurological examinations, causes of diseases, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up require a different approach and expertise than adults. It deals with the diagnosis and treatment of many neurological diseases such as neurological follow-up of premature and risky babies, referral, developmental disorders, fainting, walking and behavioral disorders, brain traumas, headache, epilepsy, autism, muscle and nerve injuries, paralysis.
The diseases followed by pediatric neurology physicians are quite diverse as they concern the brain and nervous system. Diagnosis and treatment of many diseases such as brain injuries, paralysis, microcephaly, cerebral palsy during pregnancy and childbirth concerns pediatric neurology. SMA, known as loose baby syndrome, age-related neurological developmental disorders such as delay in walking, learning and attention problems; diseases that cause consciousness changes such as febrile or non-febrile remittances, headache, epilepsy, fainting; muscle diseases and ataxies, sleep disorders, tic and involuntary movement disorders that cause weakness and imbalance are also the diseases that are handled by pediatric neurology. Some of these diseases are as follows:
- Epilepsy: Epilepsy, also known as Sara’s disease, is a disease that occurs suddenly as a result of the disorder in the normal functioning of the brain, affects the consciousness and behavior of the person and recurs in seizures. Approximately half of the children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years who have a febrile referral experience epilepsy in later years.
- Headache: The onset age of headache, which is also common in children, is usually 8 to 9. As a result of the patient’s history, physical and neurological examination findings, if the physician deems it necessary, the cause of pain is clarified by radiological imaging. This condition mostly develops due to tension headache, migraine and sinusitis; It can also be caused by tumor presence and abscess or just psychological reasons.
- Dizziness: The incidence of vertigo in children is about 6%. A physical and neurological examination is performed to determine whether dizziness is due to central or peripheral causes. Findings such as the presence of trauma, whether dizziness recurs, accompanying headache, fever, hearing loss, and the change of consciousness are determining factors.
- Cerebral Palsy: It is defined as the difficulty of posture and movement caused by damage to the brain in the womb, during birth or before the age of 2. Symptoms of this condition, also known as cerebral palsy, vary depending on the location and extent of the injured area. Many preventable conditions such as preterm birth, blood pressure changes of the mother, blood incompatibility, and the oxygen stay of the baby during delivery can lead to this disease.
- Hypotonic Baby: In this disease, the arm and leg movements of babies have decreased. It is characterized by the sleeping of babies in frog position. The head of the baby, which is held under the armpit, falls forward. It can be caused by brain development anomalies and muscle diseases, and mild looseness in some babies can recover spontaneously after 2 years of age.
- Movement Disorders: Teak is the most common movement disorder in children. Sydenham’s chorea and dystonia are also among the common movement disorders. The reason for this condition is mostly caused by the damage that occurs during brain development, called cerebral palsy. However, drug side effects may also develop depending on bleeding, trauma, meningitis, encephalitis and genetic features. A physical examination, laboratory tests, and radiological imaging may be required for its diagnosis. The quality of life of the patient is improved by medication and surgical intervention.
- Impairment in Neuromotor Development: This situation, which can be defined as the child’s inability to complete the development steps in a timely manner, can be defined as the ability of walking, running, sitting, eating, painting, which has a rough and fine motor ability, later than their peers. Loss of skill gained monthly is an important finding. Children with these characteristics should be evaluated in detail.
- Muscle and Peripheral Nervous System Diseases: Muscle diseases, which are defined as dysfunction as a result of deformities due to weakness or shortness of the muscles, are mostly genetic. SMA types are among the most common diseases. Diseases involving the peripheral nerve are characterized by weakness in the knee area and below or in the hands. These diseases, which can be seen up to the age of 20, generally show signs such as weakness, fatigue, difficulty walking, and hand disorders. A child neurologist should be consulted for the diagnosis and treatment of these diseases, which have many different subtypes.
- Autism and Common Developmental Disorders: Common developmental disorders, in which children have difficulty understanding and speaking their mother tongue, cannot establish connections between events, individuals and objects, and show repetitive behaviors and movements, resulting in dysfunctions. Autism comes first. Autism, which hinders social interaction with other people, is a disease in which symptoms usually begin between the ages of 1-3.