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Conditions & Treatments

Conditions We Treat:

  • Brain tumors
  • Pediatric neurosurgery needs
  • Craniofacial disorders
  • Headache (migraine, tension, sinus infection, and other serious headaches)
  • Head injuries
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Spina Bifida
  • Pediatric neurology, epilepsy and neurophysiology needs

Epilepsy Treatments:

Ketogenic Diet is essentially a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates yet provides enough protein for growth. While most children with seizures are treated with medicine, in some cases the medicine doesn’t stop the seizures or produces an unwanted side effect. The ketogenic diet can be used to treat seizures, and research has indicated large levels of ketones can help reduce some childhood seizures such as myoclonic, absence and generalized tonic-clonic or grand mal seizures, as well as the type of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. A clinical nutritionist and neurologist coordinate the diet.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation involves the Vagus Nerve Stimulator, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1997. It is another treatment for seizures, and ACH has surgically placed the devices (about the size of a pacemaker) regularly since their approval. The stimulator is a device that is placed under the left side of the chest. It has soft, flexible wires, or leads, that travel under the skin and up the neck, wrapping around the vagus nerve in the neck. This nerve carries information to the brain, and the device emits a mild, brief current or stimulation to the vagus nerve within a regular interval. The recipient of the stimulator can carry a special magnet to trigger extra stimulation to stop or lessen a seizure.

Spasticity & Movement Disability Treatments:

Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy (IBT) is an option for treating spasticity caused by cerebral palsy and/or brain injuries. "Intrathecal" refers to the space along the spinal cord where cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) flows. This is where the medicine, baclofen, is delivered. CSF is a clear fluid produced within the ventricles, or spaces, of the brain. CSF circles around the brain and spinal cord and acts as a shock absorber to protect delicate structures. The liquid baclofen mixes with the CSF and is absorbed into the spinal tissue and works directly in the spine to reduce spasticity. The baclofen is constantly delivered along the spinal cord by a surgically implantable, battery-operated drug pump system consisting of a pump and a catheter.

Botulinum Toxin Type A (Botox) is a toxin that can block the message sent from the nerve to the muscle. It causes paralysis in the muscles where the Botox shot is given, with effects lasting approximately three months. The paralyzed effect on the muscle that receives the Botox helps reduce extra and abnormal contractions that cause the muscle to be tight.

Rehabilitation Therapy, such as physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), casts, braces and splints, is very useful in neurological cases. Casts, braces and splints can help reduce spasticity and stretch contracted or shortened muscles. The goals of PT and OT include maintaining or improving joint range and muscle strength; reducing or relieving pain and swelling; relieving muscle spasms; preventing problems related to inactivity; teaching proper usage of adaptive equipment; and teaching self care and walking techniques.

Oral Medications primarily include Baclofen (Lioresal), Diazepam (Valium), Dantrolene (Dantrium) and Tizanidine (Zanaflex).

Rhizotomy (selective dorsal or posterior) is an operation performed by a neurosurgeon and is used to treat children with spastic Cerebral Palsy. The surgery exposes the lumbar nerves in the spinal canal that go to and from the muscles in the legs. The nerves are divided into many branches with each one stimulated. The procedure cuts stimulation to 30 percent to 50 percent of the top half of each nerve that gives an abnormal response. Rhizotomies can permanently relieve spasticity in legs, and therapy can improve walking.

Orthopedic Surgery corrects the muscle and bone defects caused by spasticity, but it does not modify the spasticity itself. There are three common procedures: tendon lengthening, tendon transfer and osteotomy.
Arkansas Children's Hospital
1 Children's Way
Little Rock, AR 72202-3591

Call: 501-364-1100
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