Paediatric Neurology Clinical Network

Purpose of the Network

The purpose of this Clinical Network is to support multidisciplinary teams who work across NGO, primary, secondary and tertiary services, to deliver best practice care in the treatment of children with neurological conditions throughout New Zealand.

Children's Neurology or Paediatric Neurology refers to a specialised branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and management of neurological conditions in children from birth to adolescence. The discipline of Paediatric Neurology encompasses childhood diseases and disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nervous system and autonomic nervous system. 

The care of children with neurological conditions is delivered in a wide range of settings. With tertiary paediatric neurology centres in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland this Network aims to enhance co-ordinated management across the entire continuum of care. A key part of the workforce is education and development.

Currently the network is supporting the development of the following guidelines:

  • NZ Paediatric Epilepsy Guidelines

  • Allied Health & Nursing Best Practice Guidelines for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

To be kept updated regarding the PET courses please see the following information or contact Dr Suzanne Davis on SuzanneDa@adhb.govt.nz

This network is in the early stages of development. A Clinical Reference Group (CRG) has been formed to facilitate the network. The members of the Clinical Reference Group are:

  • Dr Rakesh Patel (Chair and Paediatric Neurologist - Starship Hospital)

  • Ms Rebecca Lloyd (Network Facilitator and Nurse Specialist - Starship Hospital)

  • Dr Paul Shilito (Paediatric Neurologist - Christchurch Hospital)

  • Associate Professor Lynette Sadlier (Paediatric Neurologist - University of Otago, Wellington)

  • Dr Melinda Nolan (Neuroservices Clinical director and Paediatric Neurologist - Starship Hospital)

  • Dr Kay Lyn Wong (Paediatrician - Waitakere Hospital, Auckland)

  • Dr Pratima Giri (Developmental Paediatrician - Middlemore Hospital, Auckland)

  • Dr Fiona McGill (Paediatrician - Nelson Hospital)

  • Ms Barbara Woods (Neurology Nurse Specialist - Starship Hospital)

  • Dr Gina O'Grady (Paediatric Neurologist - Starship Hospital)

  • Dr Claire Spooner (Paediatric Neurologist - Starship Hospital)

  • Dr Erik Andersen (Paediatric Neurologist - Wellington Hospital)

  • Ms Sasha Clarkson (Educator - Epilepsy New Zealand)

  • Miriam Rodrigues (Programme & Service Advisor, Muscular Dystrophy NZ / Neuromuscular Research Associate, Neurology, Auckland DHB)

  • Dr Ian Shaw (Paediatrician - Southland Hospital, Invercargill)

With support from the Paediatric Society of New Zealand

  • Mrs Mollie Wilson

  • Ms Kaleen Cooke

Our Terms of Reference can be viewed here.

Neurology Clinical Guidelines on Intracranial Hypertension, Epilepsy and Microcephaly can be accessed through the Starship guidelines. The network have also produced a range of information on Neuromuscular conditions and Epilepsy shown below.

Neuromuscular conditions

The following information applies to neuromuscular conditions generally. 

  1. Sleep and breathing problems in neuromuscular conditions. See https://www.kidshealth.org.nz/sleep-and-breathing-problems-neuromuscular-conditions

Information on specific disorders is covered in the sections below

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is one of the most common muscle diseases, affecting around 1 in 5000 boys. Best-practice standards of care for DMD include treatment of muscle weakness with corticosteroids.

Information for families

  1. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Creatine Monohydrate

  2. DMD Steroid Management Plan

Information for health professionals

  1. Creatine Monohydrate in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

  2. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and steroid use

  3. Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and peri-operative management

Epilepsy

The New Zealand Paediatric Neurology Clinical Network endorses the following resources on Pregnancy and Sodium Valproate:

Important note: In patients with epilepsy, do not withdraw or make a change to their anti-epileptic medication without discussion with a neurologist or paediatrician, as this carries a substantial risk for mother and baby.

For further information on PSNZ / MoH Clinical Network development, please contact PSNZ CEO, Mollie Wilson, mollie@healthnetworks.co.nz or PSNZ Secretariat Denise Tringham, denise@paediatrics.org.nz