Brain and Nerves

Best Children's Hospitals Neurology and Neurosurgery 2016-17

A child who has seizures, delayed development (such as sitting, speaking, walking), weakness, unusual headaches or abnormal movements should see a doctor who specializes in the care of children’s brain or nervous system disorders.

A pediatric neurologist has been specially trained to understand a child’s developing nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord, muscles, and nerves, and to treat diseases that affect the nervous system.

Clinical advances and new research have brought pediatric neurology into a new era. At University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital we work with patients and their families to educate them about their disorder and provide them with ongoing care and support.

Our services include evaluation and treatment of a range of disorders, including:

  • Epilepsy
  • Seizures
  • Headaches
  • Developmental delays
  • Sleep disorders
  • Muscle and nerve diseases leading to weakness
  • Genetic disorders of the brain and nervous system

Iowa Comprehensive Epilepsy Program (ICEP) offers specialized care for infants and children who have epilepsy, and related conditions. The Pediatric Outpatient Clinic focuses on the comprehensive diagnosis, education, and management of seizures, spells, and epilepsy.

In February 2015, UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital was named a Certified Duchenne Care Center by Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), a nonprofit organization leading the fight to end Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne) and demanding optimal care for all people with Duchenne. UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital is the seventh center to be certified by PPMD, recognizing the Hospital’s dedication to improving care for people living with Duchenne.

Pediatric neuromuscular services are also available in several communities throughout Iowa.

Patient Stories

  • Parent Blog: Sara Etringer

    Mya Etringer photo We feel at home, even when we are hospitalized for weeks at a time. Read more about Mya's story.Read more
  • Hayden Despenas

    Hayden Despenas portrait Hayden was diagnosed with Friedreich’s ataxia (FA), a rare form of muscular dystrophy, in 2012. He wants to help other children with muscular dystrophy by raising money for research. Hayden also serves as an honorary firefighter with the Mason City Fire Department.Read more
  • Reed Havlik

    Reed Havlik portrait Reed was a healthy toddler until he woke from a nap in November 2014 and was unable to bear weight on his right leg. He and his family were referred to UI Stead Family Children's Hospital after several tests at a hospital closer to home were inconclusive.Read more
  • Nick Showman

    Nick Showman portrait Nick was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disorder that causes progressive muscle degeneration and weakness, when he was 4 years old. He and his family worked with the pediatric neurology team to understand what to expect and what challenges lay in front of them.Read more
  • Aidan Smith

    Aidan Smith portrait Aidan first came to UI Stead Family Children's Hospital in 2012 to participate in a research study involving children with juvenile-onset Huntington’s disease, a degenerative hereditary brain disorder that affects muscle coordination and cognitive function. The University of Iowa is a Huntington’s Disease Society of America Center of Excellence, one of only 21 in the United States focused on strengthening the relationship between clinical treatment and research for individuals affected by Huntington’s disease.Read more

Locations and Contact

  • Coralville, Iowa

    UI Health Care–Iowa River Landing East
    920 East 2nd Avenue, Suite 201 B
    Coralville, IA 52241
    • Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Phone: 319-467-2000
    • Toll free: 855-467-3700
  • Iowa City, Iowa

    2400 Colloton Pavilion
    In House Directions: Elevator F, Level 2
    UI Stead Family Children's Hospital
    200 Hawkins Drive
    Iowa City, IA 52242
    • Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Appointment: 319-356-2229
    • Emergency: 319-356-1616
    • Toll Free: 888-573-KIDS (5437)
  • Bettendorf, Iowa

    UI Stead Family Children's Hospital–Quad Cities
    865 Lincoln Road
    Suite 400
    Bettendorf, IA 52272
    • Phone: 563-344-2240
    • Toll free: 877-386-9105
  • Dubuque, Iowa

    Mercy Medical Center
    250 Mercy Drive
    Dubuque, IA 52001
    • Phone: 855-543-2884 (855 KID AT UI)
  • Johnston, Iowa

    ChildServe–Des Moines/Johnston
    5406 Merle Hay Road
    Johnston, IA 50131
    • Phone: 877-891-5350
  • Mason City, Iowa

    Mercy Pediatric & Adolescent Clinic
    910 North Eisenhower
    Mason City, IA 50401
    • Phone: 855-543-2884 (855 KID AT UI)
  • Waterloo, Iowa

    Peoples Community Health Clinic
    905 East Franklin Street
    Waterloo, IA 50703
    • Phone: 877-891-5350

Care Team

Other Team Members

Shelly Flynn, ARNP