Brain and Nerves

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

  • Quinn Stumpf

    Quinn Stumpf, portrait Quinn was born with a genetic disease so rare that it doesn’t have a name. A gene mutation, known as SPATA5, has resulted in various medical conditions, including epilepsy, blindness, hearing loss, dystonia, and opisthotonos, a condition which causes severe and rigid muscle spasms that result in backward arching of her head, neck, and spine. When strong medications, up to 15 at a time, began negatively impacting her organs, pediatric neurosurgeons implanted a baclofen pump directly into the ventricles of her brain to more directly deliver her medication. She is now able to lie down comfortably and stand, and she is learning to take steps where before she would have been arching in pain.Read more
  • Kiersten Mann

    Kiersten Mann, portrait After noticing that she crawled, rather than walked, up the stairs at age 3, Kiersten was referred to University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. A pediatric neuromuscular expert diagnosed her with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, a form of muscular dystrophy that weakens the muscles in the arms and legs. Read more
  • Parent Blog: Michelle Hinrichs

    Emmett Hinrich with nurse, photo "It was the scariest time of our lives. Going from having a healthy 5 1/2-month-old to a baby that couldn’t even be awake 15 minutes before experiencing a seizure was a very hard time." Read more
  • Logan Manderfield

    Logan Manderfield Logan was not meeting his developmental milestones as a 1-year-old, and his parents were concerned. Their local pediatrician referred them to University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Abnormalities were found in Logan’s bloodwork, and his family was referred to a pediatric neuromuscular doctor who diagnosed him with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rapidly progressive genetic disorder that causes muscles to degenerate and become weak.Read more
  • Leah McClain

    Leah McClain Leah was 7 years old and living with her family in Knoxville, Iowa, when she had her first life-threatening seizure. Her parents took her to a local emergency room, and she was flown by helicopter to a Des Moines hospital. Two months later, she had a similar seizure and was again taken to Des Moines. By summer of that year, she was experiencing headaches and intestinal issues.Read more

Locations and Contact

  • UI Health Care–Iowa River Landing East
    Suite 201 B
    920 East 2nd Avenue
    Coralville, Iowa 52241
    Hours
    • Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Contact
    • Phone: 319-467-2000
    • Toll free: 855-467-3700
  • UI Stead Family Children's Hospital
    2400 Colloton Pavilion
    200 Hawkins Drive
    Iowa City, Iowa 52242
    In House Directions: UI Stead Family Children's Hospital public elevator, Level 2
    Hours
    • Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Contact
    • Appointment: 855-543-2884 (855 KID AT UI)
    • Emergency: 319-356-1616
  • UI Stead Family Children's Hospital–Quad Cities
    Suite 400
    865 Lincoln Road
    Bettendorf, Iowa 52722
    Contact
    • Appointments: 855-543-2884 (855 KID AT UI)
  • University of Iowa Health Care–Cedar Falls
    2624 Orchard Drive
    Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613
    Contact
    • 855-543-2884
  • Mercy Medical Center
    250 Mercy Drive
    Dubuque, Iowa 52001
    Contact
    • Phone: 855-543-2884 (855 KID AT UI)
  • University of Iowa Health Care–Johnston
    8605 Chambery Blvd
    Johnston, Iowa 50131
    Contact
    • Phone: 855-543-2884 (855 KID AT UI)

Care Team