The Role of Child Neurologists in Diagnosing Cerebral Palsy: Bhooma Aravamuthan, MD, DPhil


The assistant professor of pediatric neurology at the Washington University in St. Louis spoke to the roles of multiple specialists in CP diagnosis.

“[We were] really just [trying] to get a pulse of how everybody was feeling, and in that meeting, it was clear that one of our main goals as a SIG was to really define what the role is of child neurologists and neurodevelopmentalists in cerebral palsy care.”

At the 2019 Child Neurology Society annual meeting, Bhooma Aravamuthan, MD, DPhil, and Young-Min Kim, MD, and colleagues put together a special interest group (SIG) to discuss the diagnosis of cerebral palsy (CP). What came of that discussion was a large amount of interest in the role that child neurologists and neurodevelopmentalists (CNs/NDDs) play in that increasingly complicated process.

As such, they decided to conduct a survey of the group to determine the landscape of CP diagnosis and to re-assess what might be the optimal role for these stakeholders to operate from. In November 2020, the group published the findings of their survey in Neurology, which showed that the majority of those surveyed felt that CNs/NDDs should always be involved in CP diagnosis, but less than half experienced that their patients with CP were typically not diagnosed by CNs/NDDs, and 18% did not receive referrals to establish the diagnosis of CP in any way.

To find out more about this ongoing discussion in CP care and about the survey itself, NeurologyLive spoke with Aravamuthan. The assistant professor of pediatric neurology in the Department of Neurology at the Washington of University in St. Louis discussed the findings in this interview.

Aravamuthan BR, Shevell M, Kim YM, et al. Role of child neurologists and neurodevelopmentalists in the diagnosis of cerebral palsy. Neurology. 2020;95(21):962-972. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000011036
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