Boston Children’s Hospital is at the forefront of clinical research. Stay connected with Paper Trail — a monthly feature highlighting recently published outcomes data and new approaches to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of pediatric illnesses.
This edition of Paper Trail focuses on injection drug use and street-involved youth, cast-saw reduction rates, sleep apnea, LGBTQ bullying prevention and more.…Read More
The brain injuries that cause cerebral palsy also commonly cause muscle spasticity, which can limit patients’ mobility and control over their movements. Spasticity that is mild or limited in scope may respond to conservative treatments such as physical therapy, oral medications or injections of botulinum toxin (botox).
But children with severe spasticity, or spasticity that does not respond to these treatments, should be considered for neurosurgery.
In properly selected patients, therapy directed at the underlying nervous system abnormalities can markedly improve function and quality of life. According to Boston Children’s Hospital’s Shenandoah Robinson, MD, neurosurgery can also reduce bone deformation and joint damage, decreasing the need for orthopedic surgery.
It’s natural for parents to worry: A headache. A seizure. A concussion. What if my child has a brain tumor? Brain scans are on the rise, and pediatricians may be tempted to turn to them as a diagnostic aid. That’s especially concerning for computed tomography (CT) scans, which expose children to ionizing radiation. A 2013 study in Pediatrics, for example, found that CT scans are widely used in children with headache, and that 67 percent of these pediatric brain scans were done outside the emergency department setting.
Sometimes brain scans can be misleading or even detrimental. “Most of the diagnosis of neurologic disease should be done at the bedside, through history and physical exam,” says Alan Cohen, MD, neurosurgeon-in-chief at Boston Children’s Hospital. “Imaging can then be used as a confirmatory measure.” …Read More