Tests and treatments

To treat the full range of pediatric neurological disorders, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin offers comprehensive tests, treatments and services to you and your entire family.

Baclofen pump

Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy (ITB) at Children's

Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy (ITB) is a drug delivery system used to treat muscle spasticity. The system is composed of a pump that delivers the medication through a small catheter placed into the spinal fluid space (intrathecal space) surrounding the spinal cord. The pump delivers a small continuous dose of baclofen, the drug used to treat spasticity. The pump and spinal catheter are placed during a surgery.

Learn more about Intrathecal Baclofen Therapy (ITB).

Brain and spinal cord tumors

Brain and spinal cord tumor treatment at Children's

Children diagnosed with a brain tumor (tumors of the brain and spine) often have complex needs in addition to cancer care. Our multi-disciplinary team meets weekly to discuss your child’s care, creating individual treatment plans to manage all of his or her health care needs.

Our patients benefit from access to advanced capabilities such as new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) software and techniques for precise surgical planning, navigation, and tumor resection, advanced neurosurgery capabilities with specialized equipment, including stereotactic surgery, onsite diagnostics, oncology pharmacy and anesthesia services and more.

Childhood epilepsy/seizures

Epilepsy and seizure treatment at Children's

At Children's, our specialists create a custom treatment program to match your child's health and medical history. Depending on your child's condition and severity, we will recommend a variety of therapies. Diagnosis often includes briefly admitting your child to the hospital for video EEG monitoring in our Pediatric Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. This is a painless and a noninvasive procedure that translates your child’s electrical brain activity into a digital format.

Once we have a full understanding of your child's unique epileptic condition, we begin working to reduce or eliminate the number of seizures through medication, therapies, lifestyle changes and, if necessary, surgery. Learn more about our treatment of epilepsy and seizures.


Movement disorders

About movement disorders treatment at Children's

After we evaluate your child's medical history we conduct a physical examination and test reflexes. Genetic testing, as well as cerebrospinal fluid analysis may be used to confirm a suspected diagnosis. If your child's movement disorder requires orthopedic bracing or bone surgery, we may use physical therapy and rehabilitation. If your child's condition is related to brain activity, our neurosurgeons may perform, among other treatments, a selective dorsal rhizotomy, which destroys parts of the brain delivering faulty messages, to promote independent movement. Learn more about our treatment of movement disorders.

Neuromuscular disorders

About neuromuscular disorder treatment

Depending on the specifics of your child's condition and your input as a parent, a variety of treatments may be recommended. Our cutting-edge treatments include plasmapheresis and immunoglobulin therapies, which help in auto-immune disorders like myasthenia gravis. We also offer psychological counseling, and have a wide variety of equipment that will improve your child's mobility and allow him or her to build confidence through independent movement. Learn more about how we treat neuromuscular disorders.



About neuropsychology at Children's

Neuropsychological testing may be recommended following an accident or surgery, or if your child spontaneously shows signs of emotional or cognitive changes. Depending on the specifics of your child's condition and your wishes, a variety of treatments may be recommended. Our neurosurgery specialists work with team members from the Comprehensive Neurosciences Center to offer specialized surgical care. Children's neuropsychologists and counseling professionals can help your child adjust to life changes that may arise from brain injury or disease. They also are key in monitoring changes in your child's emotional and cognitive well-being that may result from injury or surgery. Learn more about neuropsychology testing.



About neurosurgical treatment at Children's

Our neurosurgery specialists work with other team members from the Comprehensive Neuroscience Center to offer specialized surgical care. We pair traditional treatments like medication and physical therapy with orthopedic interventions, cranial orthotic treatments, vagal nerve stimulation, intrathecal baclofen or shunt implantation, removal of tumors, minimally invasive endoscopic, stereotactic and microsurgery. Learn more about our neurosurgical treatments.


Neurospinal disorders

About neurospinal treatments at Children's

There is no cure for a damaged spinal cord, but our neurology and neurosurgery programs work with other specialists across Children's to tailor a treatment plan especially for your child, ensuring the highest quality of life possible. Each plan is custom fit to your child's health and medical history.

Depending on the kind of neurospinal dysfunction, as well as its source, duration and severity, we will discuss a variety of therapies which may include medication to fight infections or to reduce inflammation, or even surgery to repair damaged spinal bones. Learn more about our neurospinal treatments.


Spina bifida

Spina bifida treatment at Children's

Children's is committed to early detection of spina bifida to help prepare you and your family for the challenges that accompany welcoming a child with spina bifida.

Treatment for spina bifida begins at birth or, sometimes, before. Children with spina bifida, especially those with both brain and spinal cord involvement, require complex medical care and neurosurgery accompanied by careful monitoring. Treatments may include catheterization to help with urine elimination, bowel programs, and even the use of therapeutic electrical stimulation and biofeedback. Surgery is often recommended, especially in moderate to severe cases.

Learn more about our treatment of spina bifida.