Pediatric Neurology Testing & Diagnosis
What to Expect at the First Visit
At the first appointment, your specialist will:
- Ask questions about your child’s symptoms and behavior
- Go over complete medical history
- Perform a physical exam
Clearly describing your child’s symptoms and feelings will help your doctor understand the problems. Your doctor may recommend a thorough neurological exam to assess the complex functions of your child’s nervous system.
Brain & Nervous System Tests
Rely on your pediatric neurologist to decide which tests will be beneficial in diagnosing your child’s symptoms. Your doctor may schedule various tests to check nervous system functions and detect disorders. Common neurological tests for children and adolescents include:
- Cerebral arteriogram (angiogram)
- Electroencephalogram (EEG)
- Electrodiagnostic tests, such as electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction study
- Genetic testing
- Imaging tests to take pictures of the brain and spine:
- CT scan (computed tomography)
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
- PET scan (positron emission tomography)
- Spinal tap
Put Your Child at Ease Before Testing
Count on your pediatric care team to make your child as comfortable as possible during testing. Prepare your child at home beforehand with encouragement and reassurance to help ease fears. Imaging tests can be scary because of the technology and noise.
Younger children may feel better after seeing photos of the medical machines on a website before testing. Older children can understand explanations of medical testing given in simple language.