Stroke

Norton Children’s board-certified and fellowship-trained neurologists and neurosurgeons are the leading providers of stroke care in children from Louisville, Kentucky, and Southern Indiana.

Norton Children’s Hospital is the pediatric teaching hospital for the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Our physicians are training the next generation of pediatric specialists.

Our specialists will determine the cause of your child’s stroke and create a treatment plan that minimizes risk so your child can get back to being a kid again.

What Is a Stroke?

A stroke is a medical emergency in which blood flow to the brain is blocked or there is bleeding on the brain. Without blood flow, oxygen cannot get to the brain tissue, and it begins to die.

Strokes can affect a person at any age, but are much more common in older adults.

If you think your child may be having a stroke, call 911 immediately.

Stroke Symptoms in Babies

Symptoms of stroke in a baby may be subtle. The baby may develop low muscle tone or floppiness, lethargy or sleepiness, seizures or pauses in breathing.

A stroke in a baby may go unrecognized for hours or days. Symptoms that might appear during this time include seizures, weakness on one side of the body, developmental delays or abnormal muscle tone.

Stroke Symptoms in Children

In children, stroke symptoms may include weakness or numbness in part of the body, such as the face, arm or leg; difficulty speaking or understanding someone else speaking to them; loss of vision or double vision; balance issues; or sudden onset of a severe headache.

Stroke Risk Factors

Babies, young children, teens and adults have different risk factors for stroke.

The following may increase risk for stroke in babies:

  • Abnormalities of the placenta
  • Infection and delivery complications
  • Complications during the perinatal period (the time just before birth and one to four weeks after)

In children, the risks include:

  • Abnormal blood vessels (arteriovenous malformations, cavernous malformations, aneurysms, moyamoya, etc.)
  • Blood conditions (sickle cell, thrombophilia or easy clotting, hemophilia)
  • Cancer
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Head or neck trauma
  • Infection
  • Lupus
  • Vasculitis
  • Dehydration
  • Use of certain medications (for example, chemotherapies or oral contraceptives)

Stroke Treatment

Getting your child to the emergency department as soon as possible is critical so our team can administer specific medication that can treat certain forms of stroke.

Care after a stroke usually happens in an intensive care unit, where our team will closely monitor the child and make additional evaluations.

Why Norton Children’s Neuroscience Institute?

  • The Norton Children’s Hospital Comprehensive Epilepsy Center is a Level 4 epilepsy center, the highest rating available from the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. Norton Children’s Hospital has held this designation since 2013.
  • We are the first in Kentucky and among the first in the nation to use neurostimulation in a pediatric patient.
  • Regional neurology care is available for children across Kentucky and Southern Indiana. We travel to clinics in Bowling Green, Campbellsville, Corbin, Elizabethtown, Frankfort, Owensboro and Paducah, Kentucky; and Evansville, Indiana. We also perform a number of telemedicine visits each week.
  • The specialists with Norton Children’s Neuroscience Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, use state-of-the-art technology to treat epilepsy, uncontrollable seizures and deep brain tumors in children who, in the past, would not be candidates for surgery, including:
    • Visualase: Technology that allows neurosurgeons to perform MRI-guided laser ablation surgery. Fewer than two dozen pediatric hospitals in the U.S. offer this technology.
    • Surgical Theater: Virtual reality technology that creates an immersive 3D view of a patient’s brain, allowing neurosurgeons, the patient and family to see inside the skull and brain to get a greater understanding of the condition and impact of potential procedures. Norton Children’s Hospital is the first hospital in the region to use this technology.
  • We offer dedicated multidisciplinary clinics for brain tumors, traumatic brain injuries, spina bifida, craniofacial injuries and disorders, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, spasticity, headache/migraine, autism and neurocutaneous disorders.
  • Our multidisciplinary craniofacial program was the first established in the Midwest.
  • We offer a neurogenetics clinic to evaluate and treat children with neurogenetic syndromes.
  • We have a neuropsychology program that specializes in the evaluation of children and teens with a variety of neurological, neurodevelopmental and medical conditions, including brain tumors and epilepsy.
  • Outpatient neurology facilities in downtown Louisville are equipped with in-office electroencephalography (EEG) capabilities and laboratory services in the same building, creating a streamlined, family-centered environment.
  • We offer the region’s first clinic to treat children with immune-mediated neurological disorders.
Neuroscience

Norton Children’s Neuroscience Institute

Connect with the Norton Children’s neurology team
(502) 588-3650

Connect with the Norton Children’s neurosurgery team
(502) 583-1697

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