Ranked Among the Nation's Best

NeurologyThe Neurology and Neurosurgery programs at the Children's Hospital of Michigan are ranked among America's best in U.S. News & World Report's 2022-23 Best Children's Hospitals rankings and has ranked in the top 50 programs in the nation for the past 10 years. Pediatric neurology and neurosurgery physicians on staff at the Children's Hospital of Michigan include world-renowned researchers in the field of epilepsy, autism, neurogenetics and neuroimaging.

The Children's Hospital of Michigan is recognized by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC) as a Level 4 epilepsy center. Level 4 epilepsy centers have the professional expertise and facilities to provide the highest-level medical and surgical evaluation and treatment for patients with complex epilepsy.

Home to some of the nation’s leading authorities on pediatric neurological diseases, the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan is a exemplary clinical program providing expert neurological care, surgery and resident training. Children and families travel to the Children's Hospital of Michigan from across the country and around the world for advanced neurological and neurosurgical care.

Multidisciplinary Family Centered Care

Specialists on the medical staff work closely with other subspecialists – including pediatric anesthesiologists, intensivists and radiologists – to provide sophisticated multidisciplinary pediatric neurology and neurosurgical care. A daily, walk-in clinic and same-day surgery appointments provide added convenience for families caring for children with neurosurgical disorders. In addition to delivering expert care, the neurologists and neurosurgeons on staff at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan are also actively involved in research and education.

A specialized trained team of pediatric nurse practitioners and registered nurses play an important role in providing exceptional, family centered patient care to pediatric patients with neurological conditions.  The neurosurgical team works closely with board certified pediatric anesthesiologists on the medical staff of the Children's Hospital of Michigan-helping to ensure even the smallest patients receive safe and effective anesthesia during neurosurgical procedures.

Advanced Imaging

The program offers advanced imaging technologies vital for accurate diagnosis and precise treatment of pediatric neurological diseases. The department operates two MRI scanners dedicated exclusively to pediatric patients . Electromyography (EMG) and Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV) testing is also available.

Neurologists on the medical staff at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan use PET scanning to pinpoint the origin of epileptic seizures – enabling neurosurgeons on staff to remove the affected tissue and dramatically improve the patient’s condition.

Pediatric neurogenetic experts at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan also offer comprehensive diagnostic and care services for children who have – or are suspected of having – a genetic disorder affecting the nervous system or muscles. Children’s Hospital of Michigan is home to one of the nation’s generalized neurogenetic DNA banks.

Muscular Dystrophy Clinic

The Neurology Department at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan is nationally known for research, diagnosis and treatment of muscular diseases in children including muscular dystrophy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, duchenne muscular dystrophy, and spinal muscular atrophy. Patients have access to innovative treatments and medications through clinical trials in which we participate. Working in conjunction with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Department offers a multidisciplinary muscular dystrophy clinic in Detroit.

Specialized Services and Treatment provided by the Division of Neurology and Neurosurgery Include:

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism, Autoimmune and Inflammatory Disorders of the Nervous System, Brain Tumors, Cerebral Revascularization/Bypass Surgery, Cerebral Vascular Disorders, Chiari Malformation, Concussions, Craniofacial Injuries and Anomalies, Demyelinating Disorders, Developmental/Behavioral Issues, Electromyography (EMG)/Nerve Conduction Velocity (NCV), Epilepsy (Seizure Disorder),  Headaches including Migraine Headaches,  Minimally Invasive Brain Surgery for Epilepsy and Brain Tumors, Hydrocephalus, Ketogenic Diet, Leukodystrophy, Moya Moya Disease, MRI Guided Laser Interstitial Thermal Ablation TherapyMultiple Sclerosis (MS) and Neuroimmunology Center, Neurofibromatosis Clinic, Neurogenetic and Metabolic Disorders, Neuromuscular Diseases and Muscular Dystrophy, Nerve Damage-Brachial Plexus Surgery, Neuropsychological Testing, Pediatric Stroke, Pituitary Tumors, Sleep Disorder, Spina Bifida, Spinal Cord Injuries, Spinal Disorders, Syringomelia, Skull Base Surgery, Tourette Syndrome,  Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) and Vagus Nerve Stimulation.

For further information or to schedule an appointment call (313) 745-KIDS or toll-free at (888) 362-2500.

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Patient & Family Resources

Q and A on Children's Migraines

Nov 18, 2019
According to the National Headache Foundation, more than 10 million school age children ages 5 to 17 in the United States are prone to headaches.  Approximately five percent can be attributed to migraines.

2012Sivaswamy,LalithaLalitha Sivaswamy, MD, neurologist and medical director of the headache clinic at DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan answers some common questions related to migraine headaches in kids.  

  1. What are some of the common treatments for kids who have migraine headaches?

    There are two groups of medicines used --"rescue medications" are what you would use when you get a migraine when you are in school or when you need relief right away. There are good rescue medications nowadays including certain inhalants, oral pills and even injectables. It depends on your level of comfort and what works best for you. Examples of these drugs include sumatriptan and rizatriptan. Some other children have very frequent headaches for which using a daily medication may be a better option. Most children use them once a day at night and can still take a rescue medication if needed. It all depends on the severity of your symptoms and what your doctor thinks will work better for you.

  2. Are certain medications more effective than others?

    Some children respond to medications like ibuprofen or naprosyn, while others may need a combination to achieve effective relief. Some children vomit quite a bit in which case using an oral medication may not be the best option. Your doctor can suggest nausea medication to use to make sure your regular medication works.

  3. What are some alternative treatments?

    Some herbal supplements such as petasites (butterbur) and feverfew have demonstrated benefit. There are studies in children proving their efficacy and so the best option may be a natural supplement. Just because something is not a prescription does not mean it is less "strong".

  4. What about new treatments?

    New treatments including almotriptan and rizatriptan are now FDA approved for use in the pediatric age group. This gives parents the confidence that their child is receiving something that has been scientifically studied in hundreds of children and found to be safe. Botox is also being used in children, though not FDA approved, and many youngsters have had pain relief with this intervention. It is a treatment that can be used once every 3-4 months and can improve the quality of life of children tremendously.

  5. What about prevention tips?

    Adequate sleep, down time for rest and relaxation, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy body weight and avoiding overuse of pain medications all play an important role in prevention of headaches.