Autism Innovations

  • The Children’s Hospital of Michigan is home to one of the world’s first pediatric-dedicated Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanner.
  • The Children’s Hospital of Michigan offers a 3.0 tesla short bore scanner.
  • Technology includes 192 channel epilepsy monitoring system with video to precisely locate the origin of epileptic foci.
  • Researchers at Children’s Hospital of Michigan are using CT and MRI to track the outcomes of thousands of pediatric hydrocephaluspatients. The images – which become part of a shunt registry at Children’s Hospital – may help neurosurgery researchers develop improved shunt techniques.
  • The Department of Neurosurgery has  epilepsy surgery success rates in the 80- to 90-percent range. Using PET scanning to pinpoint the origin of epileptic seizures, neurosurgeons can remove affected tissue in the brain and often dramatically improve the patient’s condition.

Neurological Conditions and Treatment

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Experts at the ADHD Clinic conduct extensive testing and may treat patients with one or more medications. Parents of children with ADHD may also benefit from behavior management skills and a support group.


Specialists on staff provide evaluation and multi-disciplinary treatment for children and support for families affected by autism. This includes meetings to evaluate patients, discussion of test results, diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Recommendations may include appropriate referrals to other pediatric subspecialists and support disciplines. Evaluations and/or treatment may include: early intensive behavioral intervention, gastroenterology, genetics, occupational, physical and/or speech therapies and social work. Physicians and therapists on staff also coordinate activities including multidisciplinary services with University Pediatricians Autism Center .The department participates in multi-site clinical research trials to develop evidence based standards for medical treatment of Autism Spectrum.

Advanced Neurodiagnostics and Imaging

Advanced imaging technology is vital for accurate diagnosis and precise treatment of pediatric neurological diseases. Children's Hospital's Imaging Department operates a PET center and two MRI scanners, including a 3.0 Tesla scanner. Electromyography or EMG involves testing the electrical activity of muscles. An EMG is generally done in conjunction with a nerve conduction velocity test. The NCV measures the speed of conduction of an electrical impulse through a nerve. NCV can determine nerve damage and destruction.

The Neurosurgery Department uses a wide range of neurosurgical modalities including:

  • Brain Mapping Techniques
  • Endoscopic Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Endoscopic Techniques
  • Minimally Invasive Neuro-Endovascular Procedures
  • Open Surgical Procedures
  • Stereotactic Image Guidance

Developmental/Behavioral Clinic

A number of departments within the Children’s Hospital of Michigan treat behavioral and developmental problems. Doctors, nurses, dietitians, social workers and others may assist parents in managing developmental or behavioral issues in their children.


At the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, neurologists specialize in diagnosing and treating children with epilepsy and related conditions such as Sturge-Weber syndrome. Treatment options generally include drug therapy. In some cases where drug therapy is unsuccessful, Children’s Hospital of Michigan uses alternative treatments such as the ketogenic diet and epilepsy surgery when appropriate. Using PET scanning, neurologists pinpoint the origin of epileptic seizures so that neurosurgeons can remove affected tissue in the brain. This procedure often improve the patient’s condition dramatically, with success rates in the 80- to 90-percent range. Physicians at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan are also involved in groundbreaking epilepsy research – including National Institutes of Health and National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke funded projects.

Headache Clinic

Using innovative therapies and medications, neurologists can often provide substantial pain relief to patients. In rare cases when headache pain is a sign of a more serious problem, neurologists work with other specialists to ensure appropriate treatment.

The headache clinic addresses common conditions such as migraine and  tension type headache as well as rarer diseases such as cluster, post traumatic headache, new daily persistent headache and autonomic cephalgias. In addition to providing up to date traditional treatment, staff encourage and guide interested families in the use of natural supplements, physical therapy, psychological intervention and referral to inpatient services as deemed appropriate.

The clinic sees more than 1000 headache related visits per year from throughout the state of Michigan. Neurologists work closely with dietitians, nurse practitioners, nurses and other specialties such as neuro-ophthalmologists to ensure the highest quality of care for patients.

Leukodystrophy Clinic

The Children’s Hospital of Michigan has the experts to treat leukodystrophy, a group of rare genetic disorders that affect the central nervous system. Some leukodystrophies (there are more than 30) can be treated with medications, physical, occupational and speech therapies, as well as nutritional, educational and recreational programs. A few leukodystrophies can be treated with bone marrow transplantation.

Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Center

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease of the central nervous system. It is an unpredictable condition that can be relatively benign, disabling or devastating. Symptoms are the same in children as they are in adults, and often can be treated with physical therapy and medications to help control the symptoms. The Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Neuroimmunology Center at the Children's Hospital of Michigan is a comprehensive center that specializes in diagnosing and treating pediatric demyelinating and autoimmune disorders involving the brain and nervous system.

Neurofibromatosis Clinic

Neurofibromatosis, also known as (NF) is a genetic disorder of the nervous system that can affect many parts of the body, including the brain, spinal cord, nerves, skin, and other body systems. NF can cause growth of non-cancerous tumors on nerve tissue, producing skin and bone abnormalities. Some children live almost unaffected by it, others, can be severely disabled. The Children’s Hospital of Michigan offers a Neurofibromatosis Clinic that provides comprehensive care including diagnosis, treatment and research.

Neurogenetic and Metabolic Disorders

Pediatric neurogenetic experts at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan offer comprehensive diagnostic and care services for children who have – or are suspected of having – a genetic disorder affecting the nervous system or muscles. A true leader in this field, Children’s Hospital of Michigan is home to the nation’s only generalized neurogenetic DNA bank, a research program that promises to unlock the secrets of many neurological diseases at the molecular level.

Neuromuscular Diseases and Muscular Dystrophy

The Neurology Department at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan is nationally known for research, diagnosis and treatment of pediatric neuromuscular diseases such as muscular dystrophy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and spinal muscular atrophy. Patients at Children’s Hospital have access to innovative treatments and medications during clinical trials. Working in conjunction with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Department offers a multidisciplinary muscular dystrophy clinic.

Pediatric Stroke

Using advanced imaging technology, neurologists at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan are highly skilled in identifying the precise cause of pediatric stroke – a vital step in providing the right treatment and preventing more injury. Additionally, they are conducting research into pediatric stroke diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

Sleep Center

Home to Metro Detroit’s only sleep center exclusively for children, the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, has helped thousands of children improve their sleep. Pediatric sleep experts use some of the latest techniques and technologies to help infants, children and adolescents begin to benefit from appropriate sleep.

The Children’s Hospital of Michigan Sleep Center is comprised of four sleep labs at varies southeast Michigan locations and a sleep clinic for assessments and evaluations by pediatric specialists. When a child is referred to the Sleep Clinic, he or she may be evaluated by physicians who are on the medical staff at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan or an affiliated facility. For some disorders, the child may see a psychologist or other health care professionals.

Tourette Syndrome

The PET Center team at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan is using innovative imaging techniques to study Tourette Syndrome in children. The neurology team uses PET scanning to study serotonin in Tourette syndrome. Their research discovered that brain abnormalities in Tourette’s patients fall into four distinct patterns. Combined with genetic research, these patterns may help physicians treat the condition.

Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) Clinic

Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is an autosomal dominant neurocutaneous disorder associated with the development of tumors in various organs of the body including the brain, skin, kidneys, heart and lungs. Neurologic involvement occurs in >90% of individuals with TSC and neurologic manifestations include seizures, cognitive impairment, autism and behavioral and psychiatric problems.  Seizures may occur in up to 80% of children with TSC and, seizures can be medically uncontrolled in up to 60%.

Children's Hospital of Michigan is one of only a few TS alliance recognized clinics in the country and the only one in metro Detroit. It provides comprehensive initial evaluation and follow up care of children and young adults affected with the condition. The clinic is staffed by a board-certified pediatric neurologist and epileptologist. Referrals and care with other subspecialties including nephrology, dermatology, cardiology and radiology will also be coordinated through the clinic.

For further information call (313) 745-KIDS.

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