Demyelinating Disease Program
Children’s Health Dallas’ Pediatric Demyelinating Disease Program offers outpatient and inpatient care for children affected by a variety of complex autoimmune conditions resulting from myelitis.
Why Children's Health℠?
Located in the Dallas/Fort Worth region, Children’s is the nation’s eighth-largest pediatric health care provider. For more than 100 years, Children’s Medical Center has been dedicated to making life better for children afflicted with complex conditions that require optimal care.
Children’s Medical Center boasts one of only two comprehensive transverse myelitis programs in the world. We have treated patients since 2009.
The recognition we receive validates our efforts: U.S. News & World Report, in its 2018-2019 “Best Children’s Hospitals” survey, named us as one of the top U.S. pediatric hospitals.
The survey ranked us “superior” in several critical categories. Our “superior” rating in the areas of best practices, quality improvement and full time subspecialist availability indicate our commitment to the highest levels of child patient care.
The “superior” ranking in our steps to engage families underscores the care and compassion we give to your child, to you as a concerned parent and to your other family members during the most trying of times.
Conditions We Treat
- Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) – an immune-mediated brain disease that usually follows a viral infection, vaccination, or bacterial or parasitic infection. Its appearance may even be spontaneous.
- Anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis – an acute form of encephalitis that can be lethal. At the same time, recovery is highly probable.
- Autoimmune encephalitis – occurs when the immune system attacks the brain. It can result in impaired function
- Multiple sclerosis – an inflammatory disease that damages nerve cell insulation and disrupts communication functions of parts of the central nervous system
- Neuromyelitis optica (Devic’s disease) – affects the optic nerve and spinal cord
- Transverse myelitis – a rare inflammatory disease the damages the spinal cord and can result in weakness and sensory alteration and affects involuntary activity (such as heart function, breathing, digestive function, and reflexes)
Demyelinating disease refers to any condition that damages the myelin sheath (the protective covering surrounding nerve fibers in your child’s brain and spinal column). A demyelinating condition is challenging for both the patient and family. Within a damaged myelin sheath, nerve impulses slow down, sometimes to a complete stop. Resulting symptoms can include paralysis and sensory loss.
Children’s Health℠ specializes in treatment of children who require both acute and chronic care. Along with management of your child’s medical and surgical issues, we offer
- Evaluations for novel treatment protocols
- Neuropsychological assessments
- Programs in nerve transplant procedure
- School performance evaluations
- Symptom management
- Urologic evaluations
- Vision testing
Medical & Care Team
Our Pediatric Demyelinating Disease Program’s membership list underscores the comprehensiveness of our program as well as our commitment to caring for your child. Team members include:
- Neurology – Benjamin M. Greenberg, M.D., MHS (Co-director)
- Nerve Transplants (Plastic Surgery) – Jonathan Cheng, M.D.
- Neuropsychologist – Lana Harder, Ph.D., ABPP (Co-director)
- Rehabilitation Services – Melanie Farrar, PT, DPT
- Nurses – Audrey Ayres, RN; Patricia Plumb, RN
- Social Workers – Caroline Mooi, LCSW; Katherine Treadaway, LCSW
- School Liaison – Linda McCowen
- Ophthalmology Technician – Darrel Conger