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In a healthy child, the central nervous system communicates with the immune system, signaling it to react when an infection or other stressor attacks the body. That immune system response is what keeps us from getting sick or rallies the body to recover from an illness. But sometimes this communication can break down, causing the immune system to go into overdrive and attack healthy cells.
The Neuroimmunology Clinic at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s Brain Care Institute focuses on this delicate relationship between the nervous system and the immune system for the diagnosis, education, and treatment of children with acquired inflammatory disorders of the central nervous system due to immunity-related factors.
The Neuroimmunology Clinic diagnoses and treats children with a group of conditions called acute demyelinating syndromes (ADS). These disorders occur when myelin — the protective covering around nerve fibers in the central nervous system — breaks down and stops or slows the communication between the brain and the rest of the body.
Myelin disorders symptoms can occur in the brain, spinal cord (transverse myelitis), optic nerve (optic neuritis), or throughout the entire central nervous system, as in the case of multiple sclerosis and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis.
Learn more about ADS and other neuroimmunologic disorders.
Learn more about Child Neurology.
Children’s Hospital is a pioneer in the use of long-term immunosuppressive treatments, such as disease-modifying agents; interferon and others. Today, the Children’s Hospital Brain Care Institute uses monoclonal antibodies to prevent future relapses and severe disabilities as well as other novel agents developed through research and clinical studies.
To further advance neuroimmune biology, each patient also has the opportunity to be enrolled in the Pittsburgh Pediatric Demyelinating Cohort Study, which allows participants to be followed prospectively and contacted in the future for research and educational opportunities.
For more information about a referral, please contact the Neuroimmunology Clinic by phone at 412-692-5520.
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
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Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Support the hospital by making a donation online, joining our Heroes in Healing monthly donor program, or visiting our site to learn about the other ways you can give back.