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Neuroscience Center

At the Pediatric Neuroscience Center, we specialize in bringing hope to patients with neurological conditions. UCSF Benioff Children’s Neuroscience Center is one of the leading pediatric programs in California providing comprehensive evaluation, treatment, and surgical care for babies, children, and teens with disorders of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, muscles and central and peripheral nervous systems. We bring together world-class doctors in the fields of neurotrauma, neuro-oncology, neurosurgery, epilepsy treatment, and neurological research, making us a destination many families rely on for specialized neurological care. Because we work solely with children, all our services—from diagnostic evaluation to the latest surgical intervention—are built around the special needs of young bodies and young minds.

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Why Families Choose Us

High-Quality Medical Care in a Compassionate Setting

  • The team includes pediatric specialists from:
    • Neurosurgery
    • Oncology
    • Radiation Therapy
    • Rehabilitation Medicine
    • Neuropsychology
    • Neurology
    • Ophthalmology
    • Diagnostic Imaging and additional specialties.

  • The neurotrauma team at Benioff Children's Hospital cares for children who have suffered a traumatic brain or spine injury. The Neurotrauma Program combines the talents from our neuroscience team and the Pediatric Trauma Center, which is the one of the five verified Level 1 (highest level) Pediatric Trauma Centers in California.

  • Minimizing anxiety and its physiological consequences is a key factor in your child's recovery. We have the most comprehensive child life program in the region to help children feel more comfortable about the process of undergoing tests, surgery, and rehabilitation. 

Centers of Excellence in Neurological Subspecialties

  • Concussion diagnosis and treatment: The cause of a concussion and the location, severity and extent of neurological damage will largely determine the course of treatment. Experts at our Neuroscience Center diagnose and treat concussion, post-concussion syndrome and traumatic brain injury.  Also, athletes with minor head injuries can receive treatment for sports-related concussion at our Sports Medicine Center Concussion Clinic.

  • Specialists at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland Spine Center know that collaboration between an orthopedic spine surgeon and a neurosurgeon is required to achieve the safest and best results when treating children with complex spinal disorders.

  • Our Neuro-Oncology Program is a comprehensive pediatric program offering advanced specialty care for children and adolescents with primary brain and spinal cord tumors. The Program combines the expertise of subspecialists in the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and our Neuroscience Center.

  • A multidisciplinary Craniofacial Center team includes specialists from audiology, oral surgery, plastic and craniofacial surgery, pediatric dentistry and orthodontics, neurosurgery, otolaryngology, nursing, and speech pathology.

  • The Peacock Center for Cerebral Palsy & Movement Disorders at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland is Northern California's leader in the treatment of children with cerebral palsy (CP) and spasticity. The multidisciplinary spasticity team, including neurosurgery, orthopedics, neurology, rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapy and social work, provides a unique treatment plan to meet each child's individual needs.

  • Our Rett Syndrome Clinic is one of the few places in the United States and the only clinic in the bay area that specializes in the diagnosis and comprehensive care for children with Rett Syndrome.

  • As one of only five ACS Level 1 pediatric trauma centers in California, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland is able and ready to provide immediate and highly-specialized pediatric emergency services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  When you come to a Pediatric Trauma Center that has emergency room nurses and physician specialists who are experienced with spine and brain injuries in children and equipment that is designed for children, you can expect better outcomes. And because we are deeply involved with cutting-edge research, our patients receive the most up-to-date treatments.

UCSF Benioff Children’s Neuroscience Center treats hundreds of brain and spine injuries and conditions a year including:

  • Acquired Hydrocephalus
  • Congenital Hydrocephalus
  • Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis
  • Aneurysms
  • Arachnoid cyst
  • Arthrogryposis
  • Arteriovenous Malformations
  • Ataxia
  • Brain Tumors
  • Brain Malformations
  • Cavernous Malformations
  • Cerebral Palsy and Spasticity
  • Cerebral palsy diagnosis
  • Chiari Malformation
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)
  • Concussion
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Demyelinating disorders
  • Developmental delay
  • Developmental abnormalities
  • Diplegia
  • Dystonia
  • Encephalocele
  • Encephalitis
  • Epilepsy
  • Epilepsy Surgery
  • Fetal Brain malformations
  • Fetal hydrocephalus
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Headaches
  • Hypertonia
  • Hypotonia
  • Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy
  • Infantile spasms
  • Ketogenic diet management
  • Macrocephaly
  • Microcephaly
  • Moyamoya
  • Movement disorders/abnormal movements
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Neuropsychology testing/concussion testing
  • Optic Neuritis
  • PTSD
  • Quadriplegia
  • Rett Syndrome
  • Seizures
  • Spastic diplegia
  • Spastic quadriplegia
  • Spasticity
  • Spina bifida
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Spinal Muscle Atrophy
  • Stroke
  • Tethered Spinal Cord
  • Therapeutic Hypothermia
  • Tics and Tourette Syndrome
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Tremor
  • Tuberous Sclerosis
  • Video EEG
  • Vein of Galen Malformation

Specialty Procedures

  • Tethered cord
  • VP shunts
  • Brain injury treatment
  • Fetal Medicine
Additional Services

Top Pediatric Epilepsy Program

  • The UCSF Benioff Children's Oakland, the Neuroscience Center provides a comprehensive Epilepsy Program, where specialists work hand in hand with a team of neurosurgical experts to evaluate and manage the care of children with brain tumors.

  • Over 400 children with epilepsy pass through our doors each year, making us one of the most experienced epilepsy treatment centers in Northern California.

  • Our physicians with epilepsy expertise not only treat chronic conditions but are also deeply involved in researching scientific explanations to understand better and treat childhood epilepsy. By focusing on both the scientific and practical applications of medical intervention—were able to pave the way for new and innovative treatment options.

  • UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland features a prominent bay area ketogenic diet program that provides alternative treatment options for patients who don't respond to traditional medications. Cross-departmental work between nutritionists and the Neuroscience Center has been used to manage epilepsy in Bay Area children for over 15 years.

Nationwide Affiliations with Pediatric Neurology Specialty Providers

  • Children’s Hospital Oakland is one of only 40 centers worldwide participating in the Head Start Consortium for Pediatric Brain Tumors, which investigates alternative treatments for malignant tumors with the goal of protecting cognitive development.

  • Our Neuroscience Center is a member of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the world’s largest and most recognized pediatric cancer research collaborative. COG unites the best of the academic and clinical research worlds to move the most promising treatments from the lab into clinical trials.

  • As part of the COG, we share resources with over 5,000 dedicated experts in childhood cancer research and treatment located at more than 235 leading children’s hospitals, university hospitals, and cancer centers throughout the United States.

  • ThinkFirst for Kids Program at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland was originally developed by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and provides education to school-age children and adolescents to help prevent brain and spinal cord injuries.

Additional Information