pediatric housecalls Robert R. Jarrett M.D. M.B.A. FAAP

Spinal Taps in Children – Behavioral Changes

[A parent asks a question about an MRI, spinal taps and behavior in their child following and proceeding these procedures.]

The question has been lost but involved spinal taps and a child who had spinal pressure measured during one along with some apparent behavioral changes.

It is not uncommon for a physician to measure an “opening and closing pressure” when performing spinal taps. If an elevated pressure is found then a more definitive MRI is performed to look for cysts, tumors etc. MRIs will frequently show results of increased pressure if any.

It is also not uncommon for children with neurological problems to also show subtle behavioral/cognitive symptoms which are vague and difficult to delineate. This “hyperactivity” or “impulsivity” is “worked up” and treated separately (or in addition to) the neurological issue. Some neurologists work this problem up, most refer to a pediatrician or psychiatrist for evaluation and treatment… I have given basic clinical information here – not specific to any one person. I hope this helps, a little.

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