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Meet Our Team Advancing Brain and Spine Care for the Next Generation
From gene therapy to Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) the Neurology and Neurosurgery Program at Children’s Health℠, Children’s Medical Center Dallas offers innovative treatments and surgeries for the full range of neurological issues. Our partnership with UT Southwestern brings together nationally renowned physicians and surgeons in a variety of specialties paired with cutting-edge research to provide the highest level of care. Ranked No.12 in pediatric neurology and neurosurgery by U.S. News & World Report in 2019-20, we use a multidisciplinary approach to offer specialized treatments for children with any neurological condition. Meet some of our physicians who are trailblazing the next generation of neurology and neurosurgical care.
Susan Arnold, M.D.
As the Director of Epilepsy Program, Dr. Arnold led the effort to make Children’s Health the only pediatric epilepsy program in the nation to receive Disease-Specific Certification by The Joint Commission. In addition, she leads one of the largest Level 4 epilepsy centers in the nation at Children’s Medical Center Dallas, accredited by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC).
Dr. Arnold is actively engaged in clinical research focused on medical and surgical therapy for intractable epilepsy in childhood. Her specialty research interests include Landau-Kleffner syndrome and its overlap with epilepsy and EEG abnormalities in childhood autism.
Diana Castro, M.D.
Dr. Castro is a pediatric neurologist and pediatric neuromuscular specialist. She is the principal investigator at the Care Center Network site at Children’s Medical Center Dallas, where she cares for patients with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). She is also the Co-Director of the Pediatric Muscular Dystrophy Clinic at Children’s Medical Center, where she takes care of other conditions including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and neuropathies.
Her research focuses on therapies for SMA, including heavy involvement in the research of Spinraza (nusinersen), the first drug to receive FDA approval for the treatment of SMA, as well as gene transfer therapy, most recently approved. Her other research interest is acquired and hereditary neuropathies like Guillain-Barre syndrome, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy and Charcot-Marie-Tooth.
Jennifer Thomas, M.D.
Since joining Children’s Health in 2015, Dr. Thomas helped develop the Fetal and Neonatal Neurology Program at Children’s Health. As the director of the program, she works with children who are born with neurological conditions or experience brain injuries, such as asphyxia or hypoxia, during birth. In some cases, she is able to begin working with families through the Fetal Evaluation and Treatment Alliance Center (FETAL) Center, helping guide them before a child is even born.
In addition to her clinical interests and research, she is very active in the medical community giving talks on how to identify and manage the “imposter phenomenon.”
Bruno Braga, M.D.
Dr. Braga is a world-renowned expert at treating spinal conditions, including tumors, fractures and birth anomalies. He has published multiple peer-reviewed articles on these subjects. Dr. Braga has made it his mission to utilize a multidisciplinary approach and new technology to improve the quality of life and survival time of his patients who often face painful and incapacitating conditions.
He’s skilled at using decompression to remedy narrowing of the spinal canal. He also can perform instrumentation of the spine, which keeps the spine rigid and corrects instability and deformity. Dr. Braga also specializes in neurological treatment of brain tumors. He uses a combination of micro anatomical, surgical and navigation techniques to remove tumors and preserve the surrounding brain function.
Angela Price, M.D.
Dr. Price uses innovative surgical techniques to treat complex conditions that cause seizures in children. Recently, Dr. Price and the surgical team have combined stereoelectroencephalography (SEEG) and Robotized Stereotactic Assistant (ROSA), to pinpoint seizure onset zones with much greater accuracy. She’s found SEEG to be just as effective as intracranial surgery for many patients, and patients have shorter recovery times. In addition, ROSA reduces surgery times by half, and spares many children from more invasive grid and strip placement.
Dr. Price treats a variety of other pediatric neurological conditions, including spina bifida, hydrocephalus, cranial trauma and brain injuries. She is especially skilled in functional hemispherotomy, a form of advanced brain surgery.
Rafael Sillero, M.D.
As a physician trained in both pediatric neurosurgery, open neurovascular surgery, and interventional neuroradiology, Dr. Sillero is among a small handful of specialists who have experience using the latest minimally invasive endovascular techniques in children. This new generation of catheterization devices and techniques can help some children overcome ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes, without the risks or recovery times of open cranial surgery.
Dale Swift, M.D.
Part of the neurosurgical team at Children’s Health since 1992, Dr. Swift performs a wide variety of surgeries to treat numerous conditions, including complex procedures to address cerebrovascular anomalies. He has a special interest in researching and treating Chiari malformation, pediatric vascular conditions like arteriovenous malformation and cavernous malformation, and moyamoya disease. He is known best in the media as the neurosurgeon who planned and participated in the surgery to separate Egyptian conjoined twins Mohamed and Ahmed Ibrahim in 2003.
Bradley Weprin, M.D.
As the Chief of Neurosurgery at Children’s Health, Dr. Weprin manages the mission of providing the highest quality care through the strategic use of advanced technology and surgical procedures. In fact, his group is among the first pediatric neurosurgery teams to offer everything from MRI-guided laser ablation to interventional neuroradiology techniques. One of his and his team’s latest endeavors include exploring ways to apply laser ablation to deep-seated brain tumors and other pathologic entities like cavernous malformations.
Dr. Weprin is focused on how up-and-coming tools – like virtual surgical planning and artificial intelligence – could further improve surgery and outcomes.
Brett Whittemore, M.D.
Dr. Whittemore specializes in endoscopic skull base surgery, spinal surgery, and hydrocephalus. The most common surgical treatments for hydrocephalus are the placement of a cerebrospinal fluid shunt to drain excess fluid, and endoscopic third ventriculostomy to provide an alternate path for fluid flow, both of which can have drawbacks. His research interests are focused on understanding hydrocephalus and creating new devices for its treatment.
We hope you will consider Children’s Medical Center Dallas when filling out the Best Children’s Hospitals annual survey.