Rambam Health Care Campus Haifa
Department of Pediatric Neurology (302901)
Specialized in: pediatric neurology
About the department
The Department of Pediatric Neurology at the Rambam Health Care Campus Haifa offers the full range of diagnostic and therapeutic services for young patients with diseases of the nervous system. The department's doctors have unique qualifications for the treatment of severe clinical cases. The department's pediatric neurologists successfully deal with such pathologies as epilepsy, migraines and chronic headache, the effects of traumatic brain and spinal injuries, disorders of the peripheral nervous system in children and cerebral palsy. The service range is complemented by rehabilitation measures and psychological support during the entire therapeutic process. The department is headed by Dr. med. Sarit Ravid.
One of the department's priority focuses is the treatment of epilepsy in children. In addition to drug therapy, the department also practices radical surgical treatments. The operation is performed in those cases when the conservative methods do not bring the desired result and a neurosurgical intervention does not affect the vital centers of the brain, such as the center of speech, hearing, coordination of movements, etc. The surgical treatment of epilepsy begins with a thorough diagnostics and detection of a region of the brain, which shows convulsive activity. To do this, the doctors carry out magnetic resonance imaging, functional brain mapping, non-invasive and invasive EEG, etc. The surgical intervention is guided by electrocorticography, which allows the doctors to extremely accurately determine the focus of pathological brain activity. The type of the intervention depends on the location of the epileptogenic focus, particularly, anterior temporal lobectomy, hippocampectomy, hemispherectomy and neurostimulation.
The department's key specialization is the treatment of headaches in children. The diagnostics of migraine in children of all ages includes a detailed anamnesis, laboratory tests, electroencephalogram, in some cases MRI, and sometimes a lumbar puncture. The department has the necessary equipment for all these examinations. The department's doctors develop a treatment regimen for the child only according to the results of a comprehensive examination, after excluding severe and difficult to diagnose diseases with similar symptoms. As a rule, painkillers are prescribed in the dosage appropriate to the clinical case. Such drugs as paracetamol and nurofen are prescribed for patients with migraines. When there is no positive dynamics, the doctors prescribe potent drugs, for example, the very latest triptans.
The department's experts also have successful experience in the treatment of cerebral palsy. The primary purpose of treatment is to overcome spasticity, increase the amount of muscle movements by means of physiotherapy and exercises. The children with such a diagnosis can be prescribed physical therapy, massage, drug therapy, and if necessary, surgery. The botulinum toxin injections are used quite often as well. They block the conduction of nerve impulses in the muscles and relax them, thereby preventing new spasms. This technique works well in children between the ages of 2 and 5. Their bones grow quickly and it is easier to make the muscles relax. The gait in these children can be significantly improved. The effect of the injections lasts several months, after which the procedure can be repeated. Another effective treatment technique is the baclofen pump implantation. Baclofen suppresses the pathological activity of brain neurons and reduces spasticity. When using pills, the very high doses are required to achieve the desired concentration of the drug in the cerebrospinal fluid. Such doses of baclofen suppress consciousness and cause dangerous side effects. In this regard, the doctors can use a special pump, which introduces the optimal dose of the drug directly into the spinal canal. This device works 5-7 years. A disc with a diameter of 70 mm and a thickness of about 20 mm is implanted under the skin in the abdomen.
The department's clinical focuses include:
- Diagnostics and treatment of epilepsy
- Diagnostics and treatment of neuromuscular diseases
- Diagnostics and treatment of cerebral palsy
- Diagnostics and treatment of headaches and migraines
- Diagnostics and treatment of concentration and mental development disorders
- Diagnostics and treatment of traumatic brain injuries and their complications
- Diagnostics and treatment of spinal injuries
- Diagnostics and treatment of malignant diseases of the nervous system
- Diagnostics and treatment of other pathologies
Dr. Ravid is a pediatrician and a graduate of the Faculty of Medicine of the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology). She completed her rotating internship and residency training at the Rambam Health Care Campus Haifa and continued with a fellowship in Pediatric Neurology at the Schneider Children's Hospital, Long Island, New York. Since returning to Israel, she is serving as the Chief Physician of the Department of Pediatric Neurology at the Rambam Health Care Campus Haifa with major emphasis on patients with headaches. She also teaches fifth and sixth-year medical students.
Photo of the doctor: (c) Rambam Health Care Campus Haifa
Department of Pediatric Neurology.
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