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Pediatric Neurology Update

The Children’s National Center for Neuroscience and Behavioral Medicine, consistently ranked in the top 10 by U.S. News & World Report (5th in Neurology and Neurosurgery for 2019-2020), hosted the 29th Annual Pediatric Neurology Update course in April 2019. The Center is committed to translating the newest discoveries in child neurology to more effective treatments.

This year’s course featured three critical areas in pediatric neuroscience and neurodevelopment: epilepsy with focuses on innovations in epilepsy surgery and new therapeutics; tuberous sclerosis including neurosurgical advances and transition to adulthood; and autism spectrum disorder with emphasis on new understandings and prerequisites for an “Autism Friendly Hospital.”

Internationally-renowned speakers complemented talks from Children’s faculty. The Richmond Paine Lecturer, Shlomo Shinnar, M.D., Ph.D., a renowned epileptologist, spoke on the Consequences of Prolonged Febrile Seizures, and was followed by William D. Gaillard, M.D., and others from Children’s to discuss innovative aspects of epilepsy management. Chima Oluigbo, M.D., director of functional neurosurgery at Children’s, discussed new techniques and indications for epilepsy surgery, while Howard Weiner, M.D., this year’s McCullough Lecturer, presented his groundbreaking work on surgery for children with epilepsy and tuberous sclerosis.

The Children’s National expanded tuberous sclerosis team also discussed new innovations. This included new therapeutic initiatives aided by Martina Bebin, M.D., M.P.A., national principal investigator of the Prevent Trial (sponsored by the TS Alliance) and Peter Crino, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, discussing transition of TS care to adulthood.

The final session covered multiple aspects of the care of children with autism spectrum disorder, led by Lauren Kenworthy, Ph.D., and Kevin Pelphrey, Ph.D., and others in the concerted efforts of Children’s National to create an Autism Friendly Hospital and initiatives to enhance family and patient education (The GetWellNetwork) and translational care.