Neurosurgical Diagnostics and Treatments

Leading Edge Diagnostics 

The Neuromonitoring Center offers world-renowned expertise in invasive brain recording, mapping of critical cerebral function in children, and intra-operative sensory and motor-evoked potential monitoring that contributes to the success of the most challenging epilepsy, brain tumor, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and brachial plexus reconstruction surgeries. The laboratory offers high-resolution EEG that facilitates detection of even the most subtle abnormalities in the youngest of children. The laboratory also performs an extensive array of routine tests including video-EEG, evoked potentials, and EMG. Polysomnograms and sleep latency tests evaluate sleep and apnea disorders.

The Neuroradiology Center is one of the first in the world to apply functional MRI and tractography to define active brain networks and their connection in children, a capability offered at only a few centers in the nation. The center also has the largest experience nationwide with SPECT scans obtained early during a seizure to locate epileptogenic foci in children. The center offers a full spectrum of neuroimaging diagnostic services, including the latest CT/MRI scan sequences, angiography and ultrasonography to support the detection of even the most subtle brain abnormalities. 

Next-Generation Neurosurgical Suite

Neurosurgeries are conducted in a state-of-the-art neurosurgical suite equipped with advanced neuronavigation systems and intraoperative MRI.  This leading-edge suite provides enhanced efficiency and safety for neurosurgical services and offers a venue for expanded neurosurgical procedures, including functional surgery for epilepsy and movement disorders, and a platform for advanced neuroimaging research.

State-of-the-Art Neuro-Critical Care Units

A dedicated team of highly trained neuroneonatologists, pediatric neurointensivists and nursing staff take care of neonates and children who are acutely ill as a result of brain injuries such as hypoxia, trauma, tumors and severe infections, or who have undergone complex neurosurgical procedures. The units feature the most current monitoring equipment to detect seizures or changes in brain oxygenation and intracranial pressure.

3-D brain imaging with co-registration of the images

3-D brain imaging is a type of MRI that is so detailed that it can be reformatted, and viewed from any direction. It is used to give health care providers a complete picture of the entire brain.

Basic Genetic Testing

Basic genetic testing is a medical screening or diagnostic test that examines an individual's genes and chromosomes.

Biopsies of Muscle, Nerve and Skin

When a sample of tissue is removed from the body in order to analyze it and look for signs of certain diseases, this is known as a biopsy. Biopsies of muscle, nerve and skin can be used to help diagnose a variety of different medical conditions, including nerve damage, muscle damage, cancer and more.

Botox/Dysport Injections

A Botox or Dysport injection is an injection of botulinum toxin (which causes temporary paralysis) into a muscle to relieve spasticity and involuntary movements.

Brain Scan

A brain scan is an imaging technique that evaluates brain structure and/or function of the brain. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography are the two most common types of brain scans, but others may also be used.

Brain Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a medical imaging test that uses sound waves emanating from a special machine to produce images of the body. When ultrasound is used to generate images of the brain, this is known as a brain ultrasound.

CPAP Titration Sleep Study

CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure, is a machine used in the treatment of sleep-related breathing disorders such as apnea and hypoxemia.

CT Scan (Computed Tomography)

Computed tomography is a medical imaging test that can be used as a diagnostic tool for a wide variety of medical conditions. It involves taking pictures of sections or slices of the body, layer by layer, to get a complete picture of an area of the body.

Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is a neurosurgical procedure involving the implantation of a “brain pacemaker” that sends electrical impulses, via implanted electrodes to specific parts of the brain for treatment of movement disorders.

Dorsal Rhizotomy

A treatment to relieve spasticity, dorsal rhizotomy or selective dorsal rhizotomy is a surgical procedure in which the neurosurgeon divides the dorsal roots (those nerves that transmit sensation from the muscles to the spinal cord) that lie in the spinal canal.


Electroencephalogram, or EEG, detects brain activity using electrodes attached to the scalp. It is a medical test performed to diagnose epilepsy among other brain disorders.


EMG is a diagnostic procedure to assess muscle health and nerves which supply them. EMG is performed to look for brain, spinal cord, nerve and muscle diseases.


Embolization is a minimally invasive, image-guided procedure where coils, glue, balloons, chemical agents or other materials are injected into an artery or vein to stop or decrease blood flow to a specific area of the body.

Endoscopic Third Ventriculostomy with Choroid Plexus Cauterization

Endoscopic third ventriculostomy with choroid plexus cauterization is a surgical treatment option for hydrocephalus, or fluid on the brain.

Endovenous Laser Ablation

Endogenous laser ablation is a minimally invasive technique where an interventional radiologist inserts a catheter through which a laser that produces energy is placed into the abnormal vessel.

Evoked Potentials

Evoked potentials is a test used to measure the responses of the nervous system to specific stimuli.

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a magnet, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed pictures of organs of the body. The Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique is a form of magnetic resonance imaging that is used to map out the areas of the brain which are responsible for movement, sensation, vision and language/speech.

High-resolution brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

A brain magnetic resonance imaging test is a medical procedure used to take pictures of the brain. It differs from CT scans in that it does not use radiation.

Interventional Radiology for Vascular Malformations

Vascular malformations can be treated with sclerotherapy. During this procedure, the interventional radiologist injects the lesion with a medication that shrinks it.

Intraoperative Brain Mapping

Intraoperative brain mapping is a form of brain surgery performed while the patient is awake. It is done for patients with tumors or lesions near critical functional brain regions and require the patient to be responsive and able to communicate with the surgeon during the procedure.

Intraoperative MRI (iMRI)

The iMRI supports the hospital’s neurosurgeons in maximizing resection of abnormal brain tissue.

Intrathecal Baclofen Pump

An intrathecal baclofen pump is a treatment for severe muscle spasticity for children who have difficulty taking pills or who need to have more direct treatment for their muscle spasms.

Ketogenic diet managed by a special team

A Ketogenic Diet (KD) is a high fat and very low in carbohydrate diet that can be used as a medical treatment for epilepsy.

Low Glycemic Index Treatment (LGIT)

Low glycemic index treatment is a form of high fat and low-carbohydrate diet that can be used as a medical treatment for epilepsy.

Low-Frequency Focused Ultrasound

Nicklaus Children’s is studying the role of a new technology called low-frequency focused ultrasound in the treatment of children with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a lethal tumor that occurs in the brainstem.

MR Guided Focused Ultrasound

This technology allows surgeons to precisely heat and destroy the target tumor, without opening the scalp, skull or injuring the surrounding healthy brain tissue.

MRI-guided laser ablation surgery

MRI-guided laser ablation surgery (Visualase) is a non-invasive technique that’s used to treat brain tumors, epilepsy and other problems.

MSLT Sleep Study

The MSLT sleep study is a test to measure how quickly you fall asleep at various intervals throughout the day. The test is used for diagnosing problems such as idiopathic hypersomnia or narcolepsy.

Muscle Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a medical imaging technology that produces a picture of the inside of the body using sound waves. In the case of a muscle ultrasound, it is used to produce pictures of the tendons, ligaments, muscles, nerves and joints to look for sprains, strains and other problems. 

MWT Sleep Test

The MWT sleep test, or maintenance of wakefulness test, examines how alert, or awake, you are during the day.

Nerve Conduction Study

May be performed same day of EMG, electrodes are applied to the skin to measure speed of signals traveling between nerves and muscles.

Neurological Diagnostic Tests

Neurological diagnostic tests refers to a broad range of tests used to diagnose certain brain-related disorders and other diseases. A number of tests fall in the category of neurological diagnostic tests.

Neuropsychological Test

A neuropsychological test is a medical exam to evaluate the function of the brain. It’s often used for assessing the brain and behavior after an injury or as the result of a central nervous system disease.

Optical Imaging

Optical imaging is a cutting edge form of imaging that’s used to detect medical problems. It creates better images that can differentiate between different types of tissues, and it also exposes the patient to no radiation.


Polysomnography is a diagnostic sleep test conducted on a child while they sleep to diagnose sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) in children.

PSG Sleep Study

The PSG sleep study, or polysomnography, is a standard sleep study used to identify sleep disorders.


Radiosurgery is a form of radiation therapy that delivers large doses of highly concentrated, specifically targeted, radiation to exactly the area of the body where it’s needed without damaging the normal healthy tissue around it.

Responsive Neurostimulation (RNS)

Responsive neurostimulation is a treatment for epilepsy that is intended to prevent seizures.

Shunt Placement

A shunt is a valve that is connected to a catheter to divert excess cerebral spinal fluid to another part of the body for absorption. Our neurosurgeons use various types of shunt valves, both fixed pressure and programmable valves to treat hydrocephalus in babies and children. These options are determined based on each patient's individual needs.

Spinal Magnetic Resonance Imaging

A spinal magnetic resonance imaging test is a medical procedure used to take pictures of the spine. Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is performed using magnetic fields and radio waves. It differs from CT scans in that it does not use radiation.

Spinal Tap and Lumbar Puncture

Lumbar puncture and spinal tap are two terms for the same medical procedure. It involves removing a sample of spinal fluid from the spine in order to diagnose a potential infection.

Spinal Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a medical imaging test that uses sound waves emanating from a special machine to produce images of the body. The test is frequently used to produce images of infants before they are born. When ultrasound is used to generate images of the spine, this is known as a spinal ultrasound.