As pediatric medicine becomes more specialized, the demand for specialists grows. One need look no further than the Division of Pediatric Neurology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) for evidence of this trend.
Funded by UAB Health Services Foundation and UAB School of Medicine, and housed at Children’s of Alabama, our division includes 12 faculty members, three of whom joined our team in the past year. Two additional faculty members will soon come on board, thus improving our ability to provide timely and effective care for all patients.
Pediatric diseases affecting the nervous system differ from adult diseases. Adult neurologists focus on stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, and while children can suffer strokes, they are rare. Diseases causing dementia are even more unusual in children.
Pediatric neurologists are trained in adult and pediatric neurology, making us uniquely prepared to handle all cases when they occur. We specialize in seizure disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, primary muscle diseases, developmental problems and acute encephalopathies. Our research program is investigating basic and clinical problems related to child development, genetics and biochemical diseases, among others. We are engaged in a number of studies in pediatric multiple sclerosis and pediatric epilepsy.
Children’s administers and directs a state-of-art, eight-bed inpatient epilepsy monitoring unit. Children’s also is home to the Center for Pediatric Onset Demyelinating Disease, one of six Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Centers of Excellence in the country, and the Pediatric Movement Disorders Clinic, named one of 10 Tourette Syndrome Association Centers of Excellence.
We do not have to refer our patients elsewhere once they pass through our doors.
We have grown a great deal since John William “Bill” Benton, M.D., founded this division more than 40 years ago. With today’s shortage of pediatric neurologists nationwide, coupled with questions about the future of Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, we face challenges beyond the medical issues involved. However, we will continue to serve the needs of Alabama’s children.
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