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Bhooma Aravamuthan, MD, DPhil: Taking a Multi-Specialist Approach to Cerebral Palsy

The assistant professor of neurology at the University of Washington in St. Louis discussed the need for a systemic, multi-specialist approach to cerebral palsy and provided the main takeaways from her and her colleagues’ work.

“[Pediatric neurologists] are particularly well equipped to diagnose cerebral palsy and determine the cause of cerebral palsy—but caring for these people doesn’t just stop with diagnosis.”

Data which were set to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 2020 Annual Meeting by Bhooma Aravamuthan, MD, DPhil, assistant professor of neurology, Division of Child Neurology/Movement Disorders, University of Washington in St. Louis, and colleagues revealed that there is wide variability in cerebral palsy diagnosis among different providers. Ultimately, they identified that significant differences between diagnoses from neurologists and non-neurologists were common.

For Aravamuthan, this highlights an ongoing challenge in the care and diagnosis of these patients. She told NeurologyLive in an interview that the role of the neurologist in the diagnosis of these patients is impacted by a number of factors and improving that role may help improve the care of these patients. Although, caring for an individual with cerebral palsy requires a more connected approach that fits the ongoing move in medicine toward a more collaborative effort from multiple providers.

To find out more about what needs to be done to improve this care and what role the adult and pediatric neurologist can play in that, NeurologyLive sought Aravamuthan’s insight. She detailed the real need for a systemic, multi-specialist approach to this systemic condition, and provided the main takeaways from her and her colleagues’ work.

For more AAN 2020 coverage, click here.


Aravamuthan B, Fehlings D, Kruer M. High Practice Variability in Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis: Need for clarification of the consensus definition? Neurology. 2020;94(15 Suppl): 4860.