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Targeting Disorders of the Nervous and Immune Systems
Treating certain neurological conditions in children and adolescents is often challenging. Although diagnostic criteria and testing exist for some disorders, identifying these conditions and determining the appropriate treatment can be difficult. At Nationwide Children’s Hospital, we have a Neuroimmunology Clinic, which combines advanced pediatric clinical expertise in disorders of the nervous system and the immune system.
Disorders treated in the Neuroimmunology Clinic include:
Neuroimmunological diseases often show differently in pediatric patients and the disease onset and progression are rarely straightforward. Our multidisciplinary approach takes advantage of specialists' unique training in pediatric neurology and pediatric immunology offering optimal treatment to provide the best outcome for the child.
There are few biomarkers to help in the diagnosis of neuroimmunologic disease. Although treatment is available for some conditions, studies of their effectiveness in children is often based on past case studies rather than randomized controlled trials. In newly characterized conditions such as autoimmune encephalitis, the lack of information is really challenging.
We are planning to conduct studies that will look at these issues, including an analysis of the prevalence of autoimmune encephalitis in children, which may be more common than once thought. Other research and clinical efforts will seek to develop clear diagnostic algorithms for the neuroimmunological disorders that affect pediatric patients; educate physicians about diagnostic criteria that exist (primarily for demyelinating diseases); and develop multidisciplinary treatment plans that lead to better patient outcomes.
The Neurosciences Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital accepts referrals from primary care providers and specialists from across the U.S. and internationally. To make a referral, there are three options: