If your pediatrician wants a second opinion about how your child’s nerves and muscles are functioning, s/he will send them to our pediatric neurology department. This department specializes in all aspects of the nervous system, which includes the brain, spine, nerves, blood vessels and muscles.
If the brain is like a computer that tells every other part of the body what to do, then the nerves are its messaging system that relay commands. All this information travels through a complex electrochemical process. It affects the way we think, feel, move and behave – from commands as automatic as breathing and sweating to clapping our hands or jumping up and down. Because it’s such a complex, sophisticated system that regulates the body’s activities, it is vulnerable to infection, injury and defects.
What can I expect?
Our neurology department uses advanced diagnostic treatment and technology to measure how nerves and muscles are working. Therefore, your neurologist may conduct a specialized electrophysiological test consisting of two parts:
- Electromyography (EMG): An EMG measures the response of muscles to electrical activity. The doctor will use something similar to a thin acupuncture needle with an electrode to stimulate the muscle. (It might feel similar to an injection.) As the muscle contracts, the electrical signal is transmitted to a device that displays a readout.
- Electroneurogram/nerve conduction study (NCS): This test looks at peripheral nerves, the ones outside the spinal cord that carry messages from the brain to the muscles and organs of your child’s body. It will show how fast electrical signals travel through these nerves. The doctor will place three electrodes on the skin that send a small amount of electrical current. (It may tingle a bit like the static electricity you might feel after walking on carpet and touching a metal object.) The nerve’s response is recorded.
Riverside Medical Clinic’s neurology department offers specialized care for
- Early onset Alzheimers
- Brain tumors and aneurysms
- Cerebral palsy
- Developmental delays
- Epilepsy and seizures
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Sleep disorders
- Spinal disorders
- & More
What is a pediatric neurologist?
Because our department is centered around the needs of kids, our staff is experienced in making children feel as comfortable as possible. Pediatric neurologists complete at least 13 years of college and medical school education along with clinical training. Many then continue with a one- or two-year fellowship. Dr. Michael Saito is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of the full spectrum of neurological disorders. He is an established physician and pediatric neurologist who can see patients up to age 35.