Autonomic Dysfunction in Children

The Center for Autonomic Medicine in Pediatrics (CAMP) at Lurie Children's is the first of its kind in the world. The center is an interdisciplinary program that studies diseases affecting children’s autonomic nervous systems (ANS). The ANS regulates breathing, body temperature, heart-rate, blood pressure, gut motility and more. CAMP has emerged as a leader in the study of the genetic basis of congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (CCHS), rapid-onset obesity with hypothalamic dysfunction, hypoventilation and autonomic dysregulation (ROHHAD) and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

CAMP provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment of children with problems connected to ANS dysfunction. This approach is rare even in adult medicine, where the handful of existing autonomic centers are based on a single discipline such as cardiology or neurology, and with other disciplines participating as needed.

The referral base for CAMP includes consultation from physicians in 48 states and 50 foreign countries. Download our referral base PDF to see a full list of locations.

Read a meaningful poem, told from a child's point of view, that shares the magic and many unique attributes of CAMP, and introduces the reader to the program's Chief, Debra E. Weese-Mayer, MD. This poem was written with admiration and love by Robert N. Mayer, PhD, in honor of Dr. Weese-Mayer's Investiture in the Northwestern University Beatrice Cummings Mayer Professorship in Pediatric Autonomic Medicine on May 29, 2015.

Learn about our world-class treatment in this short documentary that details the life of a patient during a week's time in our program.

Conditions We Treat

Our physicians make every attempt to stay at the forefront of treatment advances, making sure they provide our patients with the best care possible. We take specialized and evidence-based approaches to diagnosing and treating children’s autonomic nervous system conditions. The following is a list of the conditions we treat.     

Specialists

Debra E. Weese-Mayer, MD, provides leadership as Chief of the Center for Autonomic Medicine in Pediatrics and Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Weese-Mayer is recognized internationally for her clinical care and translational research study of children with disorders of respiratory control and autonomic regulation, and as a pioneer in developing the newly emerging discipline of Pediatric Autonomic Medicine.

Dr. Weese-Mayer was formally invested on May 29, 2015, as the Cummings-Mayer Professor of Pediatric Autonomic Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Appointments

If you would like to know more about scheduling an appointment at our center, please call 312.227.3300.

Inpatient & Outpatient Treatment

Our highly-specialized team supports patients with autonomic conditions both inside and outside the hospital.

Diaphragm Pacers

Diaphragm pacing, a form of artificial ventilation, relies on implanted phrenic nerve electrodes and receivers to help patients breathe. Lurie Children’s is one of only two institutions in the country using the advanced, minimally invasive technique for thoracoscopic diaphragm pacer implantation.

Gene Testing

We offer PHOX2B gene testing services for patients who are determined to be candidates.

CAMP in the News

Research

Our research efforts are dedicated to improving the care of our patients.

Publications

Debra Weese-Mayer, MD, has also worked with other physicians on various publications about autonomic disorders

Philanthropy

Your support is vital in helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families. Lurie Children’s relies on philanthropic funding to enhance its programs, services and research for children. To learn more, please e-mail the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation at foundation@luriechildrens.org or call 312.227.7500.