Pediatric Neurology

Lurie Children’s is ranked 6th in the nation by U.S.News & World Report for pediatric neurology and neurosurgery. The Division of Pediatric Neurology sees one in three children hospitalized at Lurie Children's. In fact, more families bring children with neurologic conditions to us for care or for second opinions than to any other single hospital in the state.

We have some of the most comprehensive neurology specialty programs in the region. Our programs include:

Experience

Our entire staff is dedicated to evaluating and treating infants, children and teens. The team includes:

Our neurologists also frequently collaborate with neurosurgeons, neurointensivists, neuro-oncologists and other specialists at Lurie Children’s. We are part of several multidisciplinary teams, including those that treat:

The head of the division, Leon G. Epstein, MD, is a board-certified neurologist with special qualifications in child neurology, who has more than 35 years of experience. Dr. Epstein is the Derry A. and Donald L. Shoemaker Professor of Pediatric Neurology at Lurie Children’s and a Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He also is Associate Chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School. 

Approach

A multidisciplinary team of experienced healthcare providers will care for your child. This team approach makes it easier for you to see every specialist your child needs under one roof and often in the same visit.

We have the knowledgeable care providers, kid-friendly facility and state-of-the-art technology needed to achieve the best possible treatment results (outcomes) for sick children.

We believe in family-centered care, which means we involve the whole family in a patient’s treatment plan. From bring family members into care plan meetings, to providing support and distraction to a patient’s siblings, we do our best to help fit our care within your lifestyle.

Research

Recognizing that research is vital to achieving better outcomes for children living with neurologic disorders, our physicians and scientists conduct research on a wide range of conditions.

Ongoing studies include:

  • Gene therapy in an animal model of childhood epilepsy
  • Prevention of acute brain injury (neuroprotection)
  • In childhood spinal muscular atrophy, a search for biomarkers: laboratory measurements that reflect changes in the disease process, which can be used to quickly identify effectiveness of future treatments
  • The last study is a project of NeuroNEXT, the Network for Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials, for which Lurie Children’s is an affiliate study site. Spinal muscular atrophy is a group of often-disabling diseases that affect the motor nerve cells (neurons) in the spinal cord and brain stem. There is no cure.

Conditions

Our pediatric specialists treat childrens for a wide array of neurological conditions. See a list of the conditions we treat.

Make an Appointment

If you’d like to request an appointment with one of our specialists, call 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC®). You can also request an appointment online.

Philanthropy

Private contributions have supported several programs in the division, which have helped thousands of young patients with neurologic disorders. Your support is vital in helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families. To learn more, please e-mail Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation at foundation@luriechildrens.org, call 312.227.7500 or make a gift today.​

First Treatment for Spinal Muscular Atrophy to be Submitted for FDA Approval

A major milestone was reached when nusinersen, an investigational treatment for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), was shown to significantly improve achievement of motor milestones in babies with infantile-onset SMA. Lurie Children’s had the highest patient enrollment in the study.

Learn more.



Using Big Data to Improve Outcomes of Critically-ill Kids

Mark Wainwright, MD, PhD, is developing data analysis tools to help predict, and prevent, serious complications in our PICU patients before they happen.

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Changing the Lives of Children with SMA

Learn how Dr. Kuntz and our multidisciplinary team make a difference for Ella and other kids with spinal muscular atrophy.

Read the story.


​Transitioning to Home Care

Almost Home Kids (AHK), now part of the Lurie Children’s family, cares for children with complicated health needs by providing family training, respite care and short-term transitional care in a home-like setting. AHK is staffed with medical professionals and volunteers to make sure every child and their families are prepared for the return home. The Division of Neurology works closely with Almost Home Kids to make the care transition process as easy as possible.

Learn more about AHK.