Pediatric Neurology Division

The Division of Pediatric Neurology has a strong commitment to patient care, teaching, and research. The Division was established at UT Southwestern in the 1980s and became part of the Department of Pediatrics in 2006.

Pediatric Neurology Division staff

Susan Iannaccone, M.D., has been Division Chief since 2004. Our faculty is a mix of young and mature individuals, each of whom brings special talents and experience that promise to contribute to further growth and development of the Division. Additional faculty are being recruited to join the team.

The national shortage of pediatric neurologists has been deemed a crisis by both the American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society. For this reason, a high priority for the Division is to train future pediatric neurologists. To achieve this goal, our Division maintains a competitive Pediatric Neurology (PN) Training Program that will provide high-quality faculty for many years to come.

Research

Division faculty conduct a variety of neurologic bench/basic research and clinical studies, including clinical trials. Current studies are focused in five areas: metabolic disorders of the nervous system, neuromuscular disease clinical trials, anti-epileptic drug trials, clinical trials in pediatric stroke, and clinical studies in the autism spectrum. Research funding from a variety of sources, including the NIH, exceeded $400,000 in 2009. Faculty present results of their work at many national and international meetings and publish articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Education

Pediatric Neurology Training residents complete two years of pediatric residency before entering the program. The three-year PN training includes one year of Adult Neurology. The Department of Pediatrics offers medical students an opportunity for five years of training so that they can complete both their Pediatric and PN training at UT Southwestern. There are nine PN residents, three per year. In 2009, the PN Training Program under the direction of Rana Said, M.D., achieved full accreditation from the ABPN for five years, a rare and excellent tribute to the hard work of all involved in the program.

Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (NDD) is both a four-year as well as an integrated six-year residency. The ACGME-accredited program is available under the direction of Patricia Evans, M.D. One candidate is accepted annually, and graduates are eligible then to sit for boards in pediatrics; both adult and pediatric neurology; as well as the ACGME-recognized subspecialty board of neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Fellowship training for PN sub-specialties is available in the Division for epilepsy and neuromuscular medicine. This training is available for one year after completion of the PN residency but in some cases may be extended for two years in order to include a year of research. Each resident completes a research project and presents at one or more national meetings during their three-year training.

Clinical Services

The expertise of the faculty is focused on several sub-specialties:

  • Comprehensive epilepsy management including seizure surgery
  • Neuromuscular medicine clinics including myasthenia gravis, muscular dystrophy, Charcot Marie Tooth, and transitional care for adolescent muscle
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Neonatal intensive care follow-up
  • Zero-2-3 neurodevelopment clinic
  • Rare disorders clinic
  • Neurodevelopmental disabilities clinics including autism, neurocognitive delay, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder/learning disabilities (ADHD/LD), and traumatic brain injury

The inpatient neurology service includes two teams: the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit and the Inpatient Neurology service. Both provide 24/7 coverage for inpatient units, plus the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and Emergency Department (ED).

The Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program (NDD) continues to experience significant growth in clinical opportunities, research, education, and community outreach. NDD clinics are all multidisciplinary in structure and are specifically created to serve children with autism, developmental delay, traumatic brain injuries, and ADHD/LD issues. The Program provides full-time NDD services to both the Dallas and Legacy campuses.