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Neuroscience Institute

As a parent, you are the ultimate protector of your child, and you want the best possible medical care when your child has been diagnosed with a neurological condition. We know that managing your child’s condition can be overwhelming and you might not know where to start.

The CHOC Children’s Neuroscience Institute is a dedicated place for kids. Our team of board-certified specialists and neuroscience-trained staff provide a full spectrum of care for disorders of the brain, spine, muscles and central and peripheral nervous systems. We provide coordinated care for a seamless experience, innovative programs and specialized treatments, and pediatric expertise, equipment and facilities.

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A Dedicated Team, Backed by the Latest Technology

Brain conditions in children can be complex and require a team of caregivers, each bringing special expertise. Your child’s care team may include board-certified neurologists and neurosurgeons, nurses and nurse practitioners, social workers, neuropsychologists, rehabilitation therapists, dietitians, psychiatrists, pharmacists, speech and occupational therapists, and child life specialists. The team is backed by the latest technology in brain and spine medicine, including:

  • Top navigation systems for the operating room including FIREFLY and StealthStation S8 with 3D visualization, allowing surgeons perform safer, more precise procedures
  • Minimally invasive surgery tools including Visualase, an MRI-guided laser that removes brain tissue, and ROSA, a 3D-mapping robotic system that aids surgeons in locating the exact area to operate
  • Video EEG monitoring, wired throughout our hospital, and at-home units that allow children to play and move about normally while undergoing detailed monitoring of the brain
  • ReFlow shunt technology to reverse life-threatening shunt occlusion in patients with hydrocephalus
  • Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), a “pacemaker for the brain” for reducing seizures, and deep brain stimulation (DBS) for intractable partial seizures

Conditions We Treat

Innovative Programs, Specialized Expertise

We are a national leader in pediatric epilepsy care, offering cutting-edge diagnostics, innovative medical approaches and advanced epilepsy surgery interventions from a team of pediatric epileptologists. CHOC is the only children’s hospital in California to be named a Level 4 epilepsy center by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC). Learn more about our Comprehensive Epilepsy Program.
Sustaining a concussion is a serious matter that often needs more than a trip to the emergency room or a bag of ice. Our concussion team, led by pediatric neurologists, can help your family with a carefully guided plan to manage symptoms and return to sports and school. Learn more about our Concussion Program.
With fellowship-trained staff in sleep medicine, our pediatric Sleep Center focuses on identifying the physical or behavioral factors that affect sleep, from obstructed airways and breathing issues, to conditions including apnea, epilepsy and narcolepsy. We provide state-of-the-art polysomnography monitoring 24 hours a day for overnight and nap studies, all in a child-friendly environment with accommodations for parents. Learn more about our Sleep Center.
Through an alliance with the Down Syndrome Association of Orange County, our program brings community services and clinical specialists together to ensure the unique needs of children with Down syndrome are being met. We help coordinate the many areas of a child’s care, with an emphasis on preventive medicine and case management in partnership with a child’s primary care physician. Learn more about our Down Syndrome Program.
Working closely with the Hyundai Cancer Institute at CHOC Children’s, our brain, spine and nervous system tumor program offers the latest in diagnostic services and the most advanced surgical and clinical interventions in treating pediatric tumors. Our multidisciplinary team of experts includes neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, neuropathologists, pediatric oncologists, radiation oncologists and neuropsychologists. We are a member of the national Children’s Oncology Group, and we are the only medical center in the southwestern United States to offer COG Phase 1 clinical trials. Learn more about our Neuro-oncology Program.
The Neuroscience Institute works closely with the Cleft and Craniofacial Program to care for children with cleft lip and/or palate, craniostenosis and other genetic and congenital syndromes. The complexity of craniofacial disorders requires a team approach involving pediatric specialists in numerous fields including neurology, genetics, orthopaedics, plastic surgery, and ear, nose and throat. A child can be seen by this panel of specialists in a single consultation. Learn more about our Cleft and Craniofacial Program.
Our pediatric neurologists collaborate with biochemical geneticists to care for children with rare metabolic disorders that cause neurological symptoms, such as seizures, spasticity, weakness and abnormal movements. With support from a genetic counselor, dietitian and case manager, the clinic team oversees the complex care of these patients who often require multiple medications, metabolic diet considerations, genetic counseling and specialized equipment. Learn more about our Neurometabolic Program.
Through this innovative program, our Neuroscience Institute and Orthopaedic Institute partner to provide evaluation and treatment of children with a variety of neuromuscular conditions. This wide-ranging program offers on-site specialty clinics in three areas: muscular dystrophy and muscle disease, spasticity related to neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy, and spina bifida. Learn more about our Neuromuscular Disease Program.
Developmental delays can be sign of a neurological issue, so your doctor may refer your child to a neurologist for testing and evaluation. At CHOC Children’s, we have a team of specialists who are experienced in treating developmental delays, as well as CHOC psychologists and physical, speech and occupational therapists. Learn more about our developmental services.
The Neuroscience Institute offers a dedicated program for babies with deformational conditions of the head, including plagiocephaly, craniosynostosis and torticollis. We provide laser analysis of the head shape and a full range of surgical and non-surgical treatments such as cranial remodeling and custom helmeting.
Special rooms of our NICU are designated for the Neurocritical NICU, where we have the expertise and equipment to carefully treat babies with neurological issues such as seizures, asphyxiation and brain damage. Our pediatric board-certified neurologists are available 24/7 to partner with our neonatologists to make a specialized treatment plan together for our patients. Learn more about our Neurocritical NICU.

Patient Stories

Despite her happy disposition, Rylee had a big roadblock: frequent seizures. Six months past her epilepsy surgery, she hasn't had a single seizure.

At just 6 years old, Madison Morrison has earned the nickname “Miracle Maddy” after recovering from life-saving surgery at CHOC Children's.

Before she was born, Michelle was diagnosed with microcephaly and encephalocele. Today, she's thriving.

Inspired by her experiences at CHOC, this former patient is planning to major in psychiatry and dreams of becoming a pediatric optometrist.

Why Choose CHOC

The CHOC Children’s Neuroscience Institute is ranked among the Best Children’s Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for neurology and neurosurgery.

We offer the only pediatric neuroscience hospital unit in the region, including dedicated beds for seizure monitoring.

We were the first children’s hospital in California — and the only one in Orange County — to be named a Level 4 epilepsy center by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC)

Contact the Neuroscience Institute

Call us today at 714-509-4765 for appointments with a neurologist or neurosurgeon, scheduling a neurodiagnostic test, physician referrals and general questions about our programs and services. Our locations include:

CHOC Commerce Tower

CHOC Children’s Neuroscience Center

Building: CHOC Commerce Tower | 505 S. Main St., Suite 350 | Orange, CA 92868 | 888-770-2462

CHOC Children’s Specialists Neurosurgery

Building: St. Joseph Medical Tower | 1010 W. La Veta Ave., Suite 710 | Orange, CA 92868 | 714-509-7070

CHOC Children’s Health Center at PIH Health

CHOC Children’s Health Center at PIH Health

15725 E Whittier Blvd, #300 | Whittier, CA 90603 | Appointments: 888-770-2462

CHOC Children’s Health Center, Mission Viejo

26691 Plaza, Suite 130 | Mission Viejo, CA 92691

CHOC Children’s Health Center, Corona

854 Magnolia Ave - #101 | Corona, CA 92879

CHOC Children’s Specialty Center, Newport Beach

500 Superior Avenue - Suite 140 | Newport Beach, CA 92663

Research and Training

The Neuroscience Institute is actively leading clinical research to better understand and treat neurological conditions that affect children, including epilepsy, brain injuries, neuromuscular disease and autism. We are continually studying the effectiveness of new medications, as well as emerging surgical techniques such as MRI-guided laser ablation technology and intra-operative electrocorticograpy. As leaders in epilepsy surgery, we track long-term surgical outcomes and make recommendations for new protocols that are safer and more effective. The CHOC Comprehensive Epilepsy Program is also one of 15 pediatric epilepsy centers in the United States chosen for the Pediatric Epilepsy Research Consortium to conduct long-term research into epilepsy in infants and children. Other past and current studies at the Neuroscience Institute involve brain-computer interface technology, stem cell transplants and ground-breaking treatments for hydrocephalus, spasticity and cerebral palsy. Read some of our physicians’ published articles on the CHOC Docs Blog.

The University of California, Irvine/CHOC Children’s (UCI-CHOC) pediatric neurology residency program is a fully accredited, university-based program. We believe in providing residents with a top-notch, broad-based educational experience in a collegial environment. Our program philosophy and personality have earned us our reputation as a residency-friendly program. We offer aspiring physicians a unique and exciting training opportunity. Learn more about our Child Neurology Residency Program.

More from the Neuroscience Institute

Long Live Childhood

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