Neonatal Neurological Disorder Diagnosis and Symptoms

Neonatal Neurological Disorder Symptoms

To get proper treatment, it's important to correctly diagnose the disorder you child has. There are a variety of neurological disorders, so your baby can have many symptoms. Our team specializes in identifying a variety of symptoms that a newborn affected with neurological problem may present with.

In some cases, health care professionals will notice symptoms as soon as the baby is born or you may not notice other problems until a few days after birth. And sometimes the symptoms are hard to spot. Seizures, for instance, may be obvious, but in some conditions, such as pseudotumor, the seizures can be subtle.

In order to diagnose a neurological disorder, your child's doctor will need to know any symptoms that seem unusual to you. These could be symptoms like:

  • Fussiness
  • Decreased level of consciousness
  • Abnormal movements
  • Feeding difficulty
  • Changes in body temperature
  • Rapid changes in head size and tense soft spot
  • Changes in muscle tone (either high or low)

At times, you might not notice neurological symptoms until your child begins missing milestones. Here are some examples of developmental milestones your child could miss:

  • The ability to hold his or her own head up
  • The ability to roll over, sit up, crawl, or learn to walk
  • Learning to feed him or herself

Sometimes you might have difficulty putting your finger on the problem, but you simply know that something is not right with your child. It's important to seek medical help if your child is experiencing any of these problems.

Diagnosing Neonatal Neurological Disorders

UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh uses a variety of approaches besides or along with blood tests. We have many advanced neuro-diagnostic tools we use for detection of common and complex brain disorders. Those include:

  • Encephalography
  • MRI
  • Computed tomography
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) monitoring
  • Electromyography (EMG)

Cerebrospinal fluid sampling may be needed in some conditions.

Fragile and premature newborns can get MRI-compatible incubators at UPMC Children's Hospital, unlike at many other centers. This means they can get expedited testing without having to worry about compromising their body temperature. This is very important for their overall well-being.

Advanced fetal brain magnetic resonance imaging is available for detection of neurological conditions even before the baby is born. This allows our team to meticulously plan your infant's birth so that efficient treatment is instituted immediately after delivery. These tools also help in early identification of neurological disorders that may not be apparent at birth and can present later.

To learn more about neonatal neurological disorders or to schedule an appointment with UPMC Children's Brain Care Institute, please call 412-692-5520.