“Everything that shakes or faints need not be epilepsy,” the French Child Neurologist Jean Aicardi once said. Unfortunately, an incorrect diagnosis of epilepsy not only exposes a child to the side effects of antiepileptic drugs but also eliminates an opportunity to treat his or her true condition.
The problem is more common than you might think. Research from the U.K. has shown that 25 to 30 percent of children seen for epilepsy turn out not to have it. Children seen in the Boston Children’s Hospital Epilepsy Center for a “CIBAS” consultation (“could it be a seizure?”) also frequently have a different diagnosis. …Read More
Like all developmental milestones, children learn to communicate at different rates. But delays in speech and language development are important to recognize as early as possible. A child’s early understanding and expression of language will often impact other important developmental milestones such as play skills, social interactions and behavioral regulation.
When should a parent or clinician be concerned about delayed language acquisition, and when is further evaluation by a specialist such as a developmental-behavioral pediatrician or child neurologist warranted? Notes consulted with Carol Wilkinson, MD, PhD, a fellow in Boston Children’s Division of Developmental Medicine, and David Urion, MD, FAAN, of the hospital’s Department of Neurology, for advice and tips on what to watch for. …Read More
More than 50 years of epidemiologic research indicates that attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects 5 to 7 percent of the population. While there are “islands” of over-diagnosis—among boys, nonwhite children and children at the highest and lowest ends of the socioeconomic spectrum—most other ADHD is under-diagnosed, including in girls.
With time and care, ADHD can certainly be diagnosed and managed in a primary care setting. Pediatricians can be patients’ best advocates, helping children receive support services and appropriate testing and interventions at school. …Read More