Pediatric Neurosurgery Program

As part of its mission to provide outstanding, personalized, and developmentally appropriate care for infants, children and adolescents, MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) has formalized its pediatric neurosurgery program under the leadership of Ann-Christine Duhaime, MD.

The program will continue offering multidisciplinary care for children with a variety of nervous system problems, Dr. Duhaime says, while capitalizing on Massachusetts General Hospital’s unique strengths in science and technology to advance understanding of normal brain function and to optimize treatments for diseases affecting children of all ages.

Advances made at Mass General and other major academic medical centers have improved care for adult patients undergoing treatment for cancer and functional disorders, including epilepsy movement disorders, and certain behavioral problems. Experts from a wide range of pediatric and adult specialties are now working together at MGHfC to translate these improvements into safe new treatments for children.
“MassGeneral Hospital for Children combines incredible strength in imaging, psychiatry, neurology, neuroradiology, neurosurgery, ethics, neuropsychology, child development, pediatric social work, pediatric nursing, child behavior, and education with a track record of careful, objective multidisciplinary research into brain function,” Dr. Duhaime says.
The neurosurgery team includes William Butler, MD, neurosurgeon; Paul Chapman, MD, neurosurgical director of the Proton Radiosurgery Program; Emad Eskandar, MD, director of stereotactic and functional neurosurgery at MGHfC Christopher Ogilvy, MD, director of the Brain Aneurysm/AVM Center and Cerebrovascular Surgery Unit; and Brooke Swearingen, MD, neurosurgeon. The team also includes specialists in neurofibromatosis. See neurofibromatosis team.
"The expansion of the pediatric neurosurgery program within a broad array of specialty neurosurgery expertise and guided by a world-renowned leader such as Professor Duhaime will be of great benefit to the community we serve in Boston and all of New England,” says Robert Martuza, MD, chief of neurosurgery at Mass General.
Special Expertise

The Pediatric Neurosurgery service at MassGeneral Hospital for Children diagnoses and treats all neurosurgical conditions of infants, children and adolescents. The team has special expertise in the management of:

  • Pediatric brain and spinal cord tumors
  • Vascular problems including arteriovenous malformations, aneurysms and moya-moya disease
  • Hydrocephalus and brain cysts
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Congenital anomalies of the spine and brain such as encephaloceles, Chiari malformations, syringomyelia, myelomeningocele, spinal lipomas and tethered spinal cord
  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Functional neurosurgery including spasticity and movement disorders
  • Neurosurgical trauma

Conditions Treated in Pediatric Neurosurgery
  • Acoustic Neuroma - Acoustic neurinoma, also referred to as acoustic neuroma or vestibular schwannoma, is a non-cancerous tumor that may develop from an overproduction of Schwann cells that press on the hearing and balance nerves in the inner ear.

    What is acoustic neuroma? - Acoustic neuroma, also referred to as vestibular schwannoma, is a noncancerous tumor that may develop from an overproduction of Schwann cells that press on the hearing and balance nerves in the inner ear. Schwann cells are cells that normally wrap around and support nerve fibers. If the tumor becomes large, it can press on the facial nerve or brain structure.

    ... read more ... or see the ...

    Cranial Base Center: A joint program of the Departments of Otolaryngology, Neurosurgery, and Radiation Oncology of MEEI and MGH, dedicated to the evaluation and treatment of patients with cranial base lesions.

  • Acute Spinal Cord Injury - Acute spinal cord injury (SCI) is a traumatic injury that either results in a bruise (also called a contusion), a partial tear, or a complete tear (called a transection) in the spinal cord.

    What is an acute spinal cord injury? - Acute spinal cord injury (SCI) is due to a traumatic injury that either results in a bruise (also called a contusion), a partial tear, or a complete tear (called a transection) in the spinal cord. SCI is a common cause of permanent disability and death in children and adults.

    ... read more ... or see the ...

    Neurosurgery Spine Service: The Neurosurgical Spine Service at Massachusetts General Hospital specializes in neurosurgical treatment of the entire spectrum of spine disorders, providing services from diagnosis through surgery and rehabilitation. Neurosurgical evaluation of neck and back pain, nerve compression syndromes, herniated intervertebral discs, and spinal cord compression syndromes. Information regarding peripheral nerve (including nerve compression such as carpal tunnel syndrome) and spine surgery.

  • Aneurysm - An aneurysm is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of a blood vessel resulting in an abnormal widening or ballooning greater than 50 percent of the normal diameter.

    What is an aneurysm? - An aneurysm is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of a blood vessel resulting in an abnormal widening or ballooning greater than 50 percent of the vessel's normal diameter (width). An aneurysm may occur in any blood vessel, but is most often seen in an artery rather than a vein.

    ... read more ... or see the ...

    Brain Aneurysm & AVM Center: The Endovascular and Open Vascular Neurosurgery Program at Massachusetts General Hospital specializes in Neuroendovascular problems of the brain and spinal cord, including brain aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and carotid disease. For patients with aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) as well as other neurovascular problems of the brain and spinal cord.

  • Ataxia Telangiectasia (A-T) - Ataxia telangiectasia (A-T) is a rare inherited childhood disease that affects the nervous system and other body systems. The effects of A-T usually begin to appear by the age of 5 in a child affected by the disease.

    What causes A-T? - A-T is caused by mutations in a gene on chromosome 11 known as the ATM gene, which is involved in cell cycle control. This neurodegenerative disorder is inherited in an autosomal recessive fashion, which means that two mutated ATM genes are necessary to produce the condition--one inherited from each parent. People with only one ATM mutation are referred to as "carriers."

    ... read more ... or see the ...

    Pediatric Neurosurgery : The Pediatric Neurosurgery service at MassGeneral Hospital for Children diagnoses and treats all neurosurgical conditions of infants, children and adolescents, with special expertise in the management of pediatric brain tumors, hydrocephalus, spinal cord disorders, Chiari malformations, craniosynostosis, AVM's and epilepsy surgery.

  • Brain Tumors - A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue in the brain. The tumor can either originate in the brain itself, or come from another part of the body and travel to the brain (metastasize). Brain tumors may be classified as either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous), depending on their behavior.

    What is a brain tumor? - A benign tumor does not contain cancer cells and usually, once removed, does not recur. Most benign brain tumors have clear borders, meaning they do not invade surrounding tissue. These tumors can, however, cause symptoms similar to cancerous tumors because of their size and location in the brain.

    Malignant brain tumors contain cancer cells. Malignant brain tumors are usually fast growing and invade surrounding tissue. Malignant brain tumors very rarely spread to other areas of the body, but may recur after treatment. Sometimes, brain tumors that are not cancer are called malignant because of their size and location, and the damage they can do to vital functions of the brain.

    ... read more ... or see the ...

    MGH Brain Tumor Center : The Stephen E. and Catherine Pappas Center for Neuro-Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital offers the most advanced care for patients with brain tumors and nervous system tumors.

    A coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to the care of adult and pediatric patients with tumors of the nervous system as well as neurologic complications of cancer.

    Malignant Tumors: Information regarding malignant tumors of the brain, spine, and peripheral nerves. Benign Tumors: Information about benign brain tumors including meningioma, epidermoid, dermoid, hemangioblastoma, colloid cyst, subependymal giant cell astrocytoma, pleomorphic xanthoastrocytoma, and craniopharyngioma.

  • Chiari Malformation - A Chiari malformation is a congenital (present at birth) defect in the area of the back of the head where the brain and spinal cord connect.

    What is a Chiari malformation? - The condition is also called Arnold Chiari malformation. There are four types of Chiari malformations, including the following:

    • Type I. Commonly goes unnoticed until problems arise in the adolescent or adult years of life. In this condition, the base of the skull and the upper spinal area are not formed properly.
    • Type II. This is the most common type of Chiari malformation. In this condition, part of the back of the brain shifts downward through the bottom of the skull area.
    • Type II Chiari malformations are typically seen in infants who are born with spina bifida, a neurological condition that causes a portion of the spinal cord and the surrounding structures to develop outside, instead of inside, the body.
    • Type II Chiari malformations can also be associated with a condition known as hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a condition in which there is an overproduction or lack of absorption of the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) that is found inside of the ventricles (fluid-filled areas) inside of the brain. The increased fluid causes the pressure inside of the head to increase and the skull bones to expand to a larger-than-normal appearance.
    • Type III. The back of the brain protrudes out of an opening in the back of the skull area.
    • Type IV. The back of the brain fails to develop normally.

    ... read more ... or see the ...

    Brain Aneurysm & AVM Center: The Endovascular and Open Vascular Neurosurgery Program at Massachusetts General Hospital specializes in Neuroendovascular problems of the brain and spinal cord, including brain aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and carotid disease. For patients with aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) as well as other neurovascular problems of the brain and spinal cord.

  • Cowden Syndrome - The risk for breast cancer, endometrial (uterine) cancer, gastrointestinal cancers, and thyroid cancer is increased with Cowden syndrome, a rare inherited disorder that is also associated with a number of specific noncancerous features.

    What is Cowden Syndrome? - Cowden syndrome is caused by mutations in a gene on chromosome 10 known as PTEN. About 85 percent of people whose symptoms meet the criteria for a diagnosis of Cowden syndrome will have a PTEN mutation. Mutations in PTEN confer a 25 to 50 percent lifetime risk for breast cancer, about a 10 percent risk of thyroid cancer, and potentially up to a 5 to 10 percent risk of endometrial cancer. Cowden syndrome is associated with the following characteristics:

    • Multiple benign, or noncancerous, tumors of normal organ tissue of the skin and other organs, usually present by the late 20s
    • Macrocephaly (increased head size)
    • Noncancerous breast and thyroid diseases are common
    • Mental retardation
    • A rare, noncancerous brain tumor called Lhermitte-Duclos disease
    • Additional features can include noncancerous thyroid lesions, intestinal polyps, lipomas (benign fatty tumors), fibromas, uterine fibroids, and fibrocystic disease of the breast.

    ... read more ... or see the ...

    Pediatric Neurosurgery Service: The Pediatric Neurosurgery Service at MassGeneral Hospital for Children diagnoses and treats all neurosurgical conditions of infants, children and adolescents, with special expertise in the management of pediatric brain tumors, hydrocephalus, spinal cord disorders, Chiari malformations, craniosynostosis, AVM's and epilepsy surgery.

  • Craniosynostosis (Craniofacial Anomaly) - Craniosynostosis is a condition in which sutures close too early, causing problems with normal brain and skull growth. Premature closure of the sutures may also cause the pressure inside of the head to increase and the skull or facial bones to change from a normal, symmetrical appearance.

    What causes craniosynostosis? - Craniosynostosis occurs in one out of 2,200 live births and affects males slightly more often than females. Craniosynostosis is most often sporadic (occurs by chance). In some families, craniosynostosis is inherited in one of two ways:

    • Autosomal recessive - Autosomal recessive means that two copies of the gene are necessary to express the condition, one inherited from each parent, who are obligate carriers. Carrier parents have a one in four, or 25 percent, chance with each pregnancy, to have a child with craniosynostosis. Males and females are equally affected.
    • Autosomal dominant - Autosomal dominant means that one gene is necessary to express the condition, and the gene is passed from parent to child with a 50/50 risk for each pregnancy. Males and females are equally affected.

    Craniosynostosis is a feature of many different genetic syndromes that have a variety of inheritance patterns and chances for future children, depending on the specific syndrome present. It is important for the child as well as family members to be examined carefully for signs of a syndromic cause (inherited genetic disorder) of craniosynostosis such as limb defects, ear abnormalities, or cardiovascular malformations.

    ... read more ... or see the ...

    Pediatric Neurosurgery : The Pediatric Neurosurgery Service at MassGeneral Hospital for Children diagnoses and treats all neurosurgical conditions of infants, children and adolescents, with special expertise in the management of pediatric brain tumors, hydrocephalus, spinal cord disorders, Chiari malformations, craniosynostosis, AVM's and epilepsy surgery.

  • Epilepsy and Seizures - Epilepsy is a neurological condition involving the brain that makes people more susceptible to having seizures.

    What is epilepsy? - Epilepsy is a neurological condition involving the brain that makes people more susceptible to having recurrent, unprovoked seizures. It is one of the most common disorders of the nervous system and affects people of all ages, races, and ethnic background. Almost 3 million Americans live with epilepsy.

    What is a seizure? - The brain is the center that controls and regulates all voluntary and involuntary responses in the body. It consists of nerve cells that communicate with each other through electrical activity. A seizure occurs when part(s) of the brain receives a burst of abnormal electrical signals that temporarily interrupts normal electrical brain function.

    A seizure occurs when part(s) of the brain receives a burst of abnormal electrical signals that temporarily interrupts normal electrical brain function.

    Anything that interrupts the normal connections between nerve cells in the brain can cause a seizure. This includes a high fever, low blood sugar, high blood sugar, alcohol or drug withdrawal, or a brain concussion. Under these circumstances, anyone can have one or more seizures. However, when a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, he or she is considered to have epilepsy. There are many possible causes of epilepsy, including an imbalance of nerve-signaling chemicals called neurotransmitters, tumors, strokes, and brain damage from illness or injury, or some combination of these. In the majority of cases, there may be no detectable cause for epilepsy.

    ... read more ... or see the ...

    Functional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery Center: - The Functional Neurosurgery Center at Massachusetts General Hospital provides expert evaluations and surgical treatment for patients with movement disorders, epilepsy and psychiatric conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and chronic pain. Functional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery Center: Including electrophysiologically monitored pallidotomy for medically refractory Parkinson's disease, obsessive compulsive disorder, cancer-related- and chronic-pain syndromes, thalamotomy for disabling tremor and epilepsy surgery for the surgical treatment of medically refractory seizures.

    • Movement Disorders
    • Parkinson's Disease
    • Epilepsy Surgery
    • TN & HFS
  • Head Injury - A head injury is a broad term that describes a vast array of injuries that occur to the scalp, skull, brain, and underlying tissue and blood vessels in the head.

    What is a head injury? - Head injuries are one of the most common causes of disability and death in adults. The injury can be as mild as a bump, bruise (contusion), or cut on the head, or can be moderate to severe in nature due to a concussion, deep cut or open wound, fractured skull bone(s), or from internal bleeding and damage to the brain.

    A head injury is a broad term that describes a vast array of injuries that occur to the scalp, skull, brain, and underlying tissue and blood vessels in the head. Head injuries are also commonly referred to as brain injury, or traumatic brain injury (TBI), depending on the extent of the head trauma.

    ... read more ... see also the ...

    Pediatric Neurosurgery : The Pediatric Neurosurgery service at MassGeneral Hospital for Children diagnoses and treats all neurosurgical conditions of infants, children and adolescents, with special expertise in the management of pediatric brain tumors, hydrocephalus, spinal cord disorders, Chiari malformations, craniosynostosis, AVM's and epilepsy surgery.

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    Trauma, Emergency, Intensive Care, and General Neurosurgery Center: The Spinal Cord and Head Trauma Center, and the NeuroScience Care Units diagnoses and treats patients with severe spinal cord and brain disorders resulting from trauma. Information on Physical Therapy for Brain Injury.

    Massachusetts General Hospital is a Level 1 Adult and Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center. MGH has been verified as able to treat the highest severity of trauma patient. MGH admits, on average, 2,000 trauma patients and another 2,000 emergency surgery patients per year, and although the vast majority of our patients are from the Boston metropolitan area, patients are referred to our facility from all over the country.

  • Hydrocephalus - Hydrocephalus is a condition in which there is excessive fluid in and around the brain. It occurs from a lack of absorption, blockage of flow, or overproduction of the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) that's made inside the ventricles (fluid-filled areas) of the brain and disperses from the ventricles around the brain and spinal cord. This may result in a buildup of fluid that can cause the pressure inside of the head to increase. In a child, this causes the bones of the skull to expand and separate to a larger-than-normal appearance.

    What causes hydrocephalus? - Hydrocephalus occurs in approximately one out of 500 births. The following are the primary reasons why hydrocephalus occurs:

    • Blockage of the CSF flow inside of the head
    • Problems absorbing CSF
    • Overproduction of CSF (rare)

    Hydrocephalus can occur either as a condition present at birth (congenital), or it can be acquired later in life. When hydrocephalus is not related to a known genetic cause, it's thought that many factors, both genetic and environmental, contribute to the condition. In a small percentage of babies, a single gene defect on the X chromosome, or another chromosome, is responsible for the condition. If a child has been born with hydrocephalus not known to be caused by a single gene defect, the chance of it occurring in another child is 1 to 5 percent.

    ... read more ... or see the ...

    Pediatric Neurosurgery Service: The Pediatric Neurosurgery service at MassGeneral Hospital for Children diagnoses and treats all neurosurgical conditions of infants, children and adolescents, with special expertise in the management of pediatric brain tumors, hydrocephalus, spinal cord disorders, Chiari malformations, craniosynostosis, AVM's and epilepsy surgery.

  • Landau-Kleffner Syndrome - Landau-Kleffner syndrome (also called infantile acquired aphasia, acquired epileptic aphasia or aphasia with convulsive disorder) is a language disorder characterized by the gradual or sudden loss of the ability to use or comprehend spoken language.

    What is Landau-Kleffner syndrome? - Landau-Kleffner syndrome is a rare language disorder. It frequently occurs in normally developing children, usually between five and seven years of age, and is characterized by the gradual or sudden loss of the ability to use or comprehend spoken language.

    The following are the most common indicators of Landau-Kleffner syndrome. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.

    • Early signs may be referred to as auditory agnosia, which includes the child:
      • Suddenly having problems understanding what is said
      • Appearing to have problems with hearing and deafness may be suspected
      • Appearing to be autistic or developmentally delayed
    • Spoken language is eventually affected, which may lead to complete loss of the ability to speak.
    • Seizure disorder
    • Some children develop their own method of communicating, such as using gestures or signs.

    Hearing and intelligence usually are confirmed to be normal in children with Landau-Kleffner syndrome

    The symptoms of Landau-Kleffner syndrome may resemble other conditions or medical problems, such as deafness or learning disabilities. Always consult your health care provider for a diagnosis.

    ... read more ... or see the ...

    Pediatric Neurosurgery Service: The Pediatric Neurosurgery service at MassGeneral Hospital for Children diagnoses and treats all neurosurgical conditions of infants, children and adolescents, with special expertise in the management of pediatric brain tumors, hydrocephalus, spinal cord disorders, Chiari malformations, craniosynostosis, AVM's and epilepsy surgery.

  • Lumbar Disc Disease (Herniated Disc) - Lumbar disc disease occurs in the lumbar area of the spine. As discs degenerate, fragments of the disc material can press on the nerve roots located just behind the disc space, causing pain, numbness or changes in sensation.

    Anatomy of the lumbar spine - The vertebral column, also called the backbone, is made up of 33 vertebrae that are separated by spongy disks and classified into four distinct areas. The cervical area consists of seven bony parts in the neck; the thoracic spine consists of 12 bony parts in the back area; the lumbar spine consists of five bony segments in the lower back area; five sacral bones (fused into one bone, the sacrum); and four coccygeal bones (fused into one bone, the coccyx).

    Lumbar disk disease occurs in the lumbar area of the spine. The lumbar area of the spine (and other areas of the spine) is made up of two parts, including the following:

    • Vertebral bodies. The parts that are made of bone.
    • Intervertebral disks (also known as the disks). The disks are located between the bony parts of the spine and act as "shock absorbers" for the spine.

    ... read more ... or see the ...

    Neurosurgery Spine Service: The Neurosurgical Spine Service at Massachusetts General Hospital specializes in neurosurgical treatment of the entire spectrum of spine disorders, providing services from diagnosis through surgery and rehabilitation. Neurosurgical evaluation of neck and back pain, nerve compression syndromes, herniated intervertebral discs, and spinal cord compression syndromes.

    • Neurosurgical Service's Spine Evaluation Unit
    • Disc & Spinal Cord Compression
    • Spine & Spinal Cord Tumor
    • Brian D. Silber Spine Tumor Clinic
  • Neurocutaneous Syndromes - Neurocutaneous syndrome is a broad term for a group of neurologic disorders that can cause tumors to grow inside the brain, spinal cord, organs, skin and skeletal bones.

    What are neurocutaneous syndromes? - Neurocutaneous syndrome is a broad term for a group of neurologic (brain, spine, and peripheral nerve) disorders. These diseases are lifelong conditions that can cause tumors to grow inside the brain, spinal cord, organs, skin, and skeletal bones.

    The three most common types of neurocutaneous syndromes are:

    • Tuberous sclerosis (TS)
    • Neurofibromatosis (NF): Type I, Type II, and schwannomatosis
    • Sturge-Weber disease

    ... read more ... or see the ...

    Pediatric Neurosurgery Service: The Pediatric Neurosurgery service at MassGeneral Hospital for Children diagnoses and treats all neurosurgical conditions of infants, children and adolescents, with special expertise in the management of pediatric brain tumors, hydrocephalus, spinal cord disorders, Chiari malformations, craniosynostosis, AVM's and epilepsy surgery.

  • Neurogenic Bladder - The following problems are often associated with a neurogenic bladder: urine leakage, urine retention, damage to the tiny blood vessels in the kidney, and infection of the bladder or ureters.

    What is a neurogenic bladder? - The muscles and nerves of the urinary system work together to hold urine in the bladder and then release it at the appropriate time. Nerves carry messages from the bladder to the spinal cord and brain and from the collections of nerves in the peripheral nervous system to the muscles of the bladder telling them either to tighten or release. In a neurogenic bladder, the nerves that are supposed to carry these messages do not work properly.

    ... read more ... or see the ...

    Pediatric Neurosurgery Service: The Pediatric Neurosurgery service at MassGeneral Hospital for Children diagnoses and treats all neurosurgical conditions of infants, children and adolescents, with special expertise in the management of pediatric brain tumors, hydrocephalus, spinal cord disorders, Chiari malformations, craniosynostosis, AVM's and epilepsy surgery.

  • Seizures - Epilepsy is a neurological condition involving the brain that makes people more susceptible to having seizures.

    What is a seizure? - The brain is the center that controls and regulates all voluntary and involuntary responses in the body. It consists of nerve cells that communicate with each other through electrical activity. A seizure occurs when part(s) of the brain receives a burst of abnormal electrical signals that temporarily interrupts normal electrical brain function.

    ... read more ... or see the ...

    Functional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery Center: - The Functional Neurosurgery Center at Massachusetts General Hospital provides expert evaluations and surgical treatment for patients with movement disorders, epilepsy and psychiatric conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and chronic pain. Functional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery Center: Including electrophysiologically monitored pallidotomy for medically refractory Parkinson's disease, obsessive compulsive disorder, cancer-related- and chronic-pain syndromes, thalamotomy for disabling tremor and epilepsy surgery for the surgical treatment of medically refractory seizures.

    • Movement Disorders
    • Parkinson's Disease
    • Epilepsy Surgery
    • TN & HFS
  • Spinal Cord Injury - Acute spinal cord injury (SCI) is due to a traumatic injury that can either result in a bruise (also called a contusion), a partial tear, or a complete tear (called a transection) in the spinal cord.

    What is an acute spinal cord injury? - The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that carries messages between the brain and the rest of the body.

    Acute spinal cord injury (SCI) is due to a traumatic injury that can either result in a bruise (also called a contusion), a partial tear, or a complete tear (called a transection) in the spinal cord. SCI is more common in men and young adults.

    There are about 12,000 new cases of SCI each year. The number of people in the U.S. in 2008 living with a spinal cord injury was approximately 259,000.

    SCI results in a decreased or absence of movement, sensation, and body organ function below the level of the injury. The most common sites of injury are the cervical and thoracic areas. SCI is a common cause of permanent disability and death in children and adults.

    ... read more ... or see the ...

    Neurosurgery Spine Service: The Neurosurgical Spine Service at Massachusetts General Hospital specializes in neurosurgical treatment of the entire spectrum of spine disorders, providing services from diagnosis through surgery and rehabilitation. Neurosurgical evaluation of neck and back pain, nerve compression syndromes, herniated intervertebral discs, and spinal cord compression syndromes.

    • Neurosurgical Service's Spine Evaluation Unit
    • Disc & Spinal Cord Compression
    • Spine & Spinal Cord Tumor
    • Brian D. Silber Spine Tumor Clinic
  • Tourette's Disorder - Tourette's disorder (TD), sometimes called Tourette's syndrome (TS), is a neurological disorder characterized by multiple repeated tics.

    What is Tourette's disorder (TD)? - Tourette's disorder (TD), sometimes called Tourette's syndrome (TS), is a neurological disorder characterized by multiple repeated tics. Tics are abrupt, purposeless, and involuntary vocal sounds or muscular jerks. Symptoms of TD usually begin between the ages of five and 10 years of age, and usually begin with mild, simple tics involving the face, head, or arms. With time, tics become more frequent and increase in variety, involving more body parts such as the trunk or legs, and often become more disruptive to activities of daily living (ADLs).

    ... read more ... or see the ...

    Pediatric Neurosurgery Service: The Pediatric Neurosurgery service at MassGeneral Hospital for Children diagnoses and treats all neurosurgical conditions of infants, children and adolescents, with special expertise in the management of pediatric brain tumors, hydrocephalus, spinal cord disorders, Chiari malformations, craniosynostosis, AVM's and epilepsy surgery.


Established Treatments - Investment in Technology

MGHfC also continues to offer established treatments for children with brain cancers and to invest in technology and staffing to improve surgical outcomes. The new inpatient and outpatient facility will house a state-of-the-art neurosurgical operative suite, complete with an advanced MRI for use during surgery and other on-site imaging capabilities.

MGHfC is adding a team of specialists with extensive experience monitoring and mapping brain function in children during surgery. “This team, in concert with the other specialists and subspecialists and the tools and techniques already available to us here at MGH, means we have available any resources required by any given patient,” Dr. Duhaime says. “Treatment of tumors, refractory epilepsy, and congenital malformations all may benefit from these new collaborations.” 

Family-Centered, Collaborative Care

Your pediatric neurosurgery team works with you and your child, and with many other specialists at MGHfC, to ensure that your child has everything he or she needs. We work closely with all pediatric specialists:


Enhancing Brain Recovery Following Injury

Of particular interest to Dr. Duhaime is the brain’s response to injury as a function of the brain’s maturity at the time of injury. Dr. Duhaime’s laboratory is involved in basic science research in this area as well as participating in a multicenter trial using instrumented helmets to study what mechanisms are linked to specific brain problems in young athletes.

Clinical researchers in pediatric neurosurgery at MGHfC are also participating in national studies designed to gather sophisticated data on traumatic brain injury from large numbers of adults and children. Information gleaned from these studies will ultimately be integrated into stratified, multidisciplinary treatment trials for infants, children and adults with various types of traumatic brain injuries, as well as investigating host factors, such as genetics, which influence outcome. 

In addition to these new areas of research, MGHfC will continue to provide general pediatric neurosurgical services, including care for patients with hydrocephalus and brain cysts, craniofacial disorders, congenital anomalies of the spine and brain, vascular problems and pediatric brain and spinal cord tumors, with a commitment to providing child-friendly ancillary diagnostic and surgical services. 

The hospital will also continue offering proton radiation therapy and consultations for pediatric neurosurgical patients from around the world. Mass General is one of only a handful of centers in the United States offering proton therapy, an important option for children because it minimizes danger to healthy tissue. Proton therapy exemplifies the type of unique treatment options available at MGHfC for children with various nervous system problems. With the expansion of the pediatric neurosurgery program, more children may benefit from the wide variety of innovative services offered at Mass General.

MGHfC pediatric neurosurgeons work with their counterparts in pediatric and adult specialties to adapt research innovations in adult care to meet the unique demands of children's care. In this way, we are able to provide treatments, approaches and experience that are uniquely available at Mass General, including:

Adult Care to Help Children

MGHfC pediatric neurosurgeons work with their counterparts in pediatric and adult specialties to adapt research innovations in adult care to meet the unique demands of children's care. In this way, we are able to provide treatments, approaches and experience that are uniquely available at Mass General, including:

Learn how researchers at MassGeneral Hospital for Children are finding new treatments that advance pediatric care.

Referrals

MassGeneral Hospital for Children is committed to making expert, state-of-the-art treatment available to children from across the community and beyond. The members of our network, which includes Newton-Wellesley and North Shore Children’s Hospitals, as well as hundreds of community pediatricians and pediatric specialists, work together to ensure that this goal is met.

Either families or physicians may make referrals to or inquiries about our Pediatric Neurosurgical Services by calling 617-726 3887.

Massachusetts General Hospital is consistently ranked among the top three hospitals in the country and its pediatric services in the top 1% in the nation by U.S. News & World Report Annual Guide to America’s Best Hospitals.We were the first hospital in the nation to attain Level 1 verification in Adult Trauma, Pediatric Trauma and Adult Burn. Our Brain Tumor Center receives referrals from medical centers around the world to care for children whose care is most challenging.



MGH Pediatric Neurosurgical Servicer - Wang Ambulatory Care Center - ACC-331 - Neurosurgical Service - Phone: 617-643-9175 - Fax: 617-726-7546 - Massachusetts General Hospital - 15 Parkman Street - Boston, Massachusetts 02114