Pediatric Neurology and Epilepsy Service

The pediatric neurology department at the American Hospital provides evidence-based and multidisciplinary assessment and management of children with neurological and neurodevelopmental problems. The department is led by Dr. Ubaid Shah, Consultant Pediatric Neurologist, and Epileptologist.

The Department Consists Of The Following Integrated Services:

• Pediatric neurology service
• Pediatric neurodevelopment service
• Pediatric neurorehabilitation service

Pediatric Neurology Service:

We diagnose and treat children and adolescents with a broad range of neurological disorders. These are medical problems affecting the brain, nerves, and muscles. A thorough and comprehensive clinical assessment is supported by advanced neuro diagnostics, including blood testing, lumbar puncture, MRI, PET Scan, and advanced digital VideoEEG ( for measuring brain waves).

This service provides opinions on general neurological conditions in infants, children, and adolescents including:

• Headaches including migraines
• Neurogenetics including tuberous sclerosis, neurofibromatosis
• Neuro-inflammatory disorders:

  • Pediatric multiple sclerosis
  • Post-infectious neuro-psychiatry disorders
  • Inflammatory encephalopathies

• Medical aspects of head injuries and brain tumors.
• Neuromuscular problems like:

  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease
  • Hypotonia
  • Dystonia

• Cerebral palsy
• Neurometabolic disorders
• Movement disorders

Pediatric Epilepsy Service:

At American Hospital Dubai we provide a dedicated Comprehensive Pediatric Epilepsy service. The service is led by our Pediatric Epileptologist Dr. Ubaid Shah who has over a decade of experience in evaluating patients with epilepsy. The service provides the latest neuro-diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause and provide the best treatment available.

What is Epilepsy?


Epilepsy is a condition of the nervous system in which the person experiences recurrent seizures or convulsions. The seizures occur because of the abnormal signals sent by the cluster cells or neurons in the brain.


In children epilepsy can be due to abnormal brain development, genetic reasons, head injuries, fever, infection of the brain or its surrounding membranes (meningitis), and hydrocephalus (excess fluid within the brain).


Children with epilepsy may experience strange sensations, emotions, and behavior along with convulsions, muscle spasms, and even loss of consciousness.


Detailed analysis of the events (semiology) and thorough physical examination may be sufficient to make the diagnosis of epilepsy. Additional tests are usually required to determine the epilepsy type and try to find an underlying cause. An Electroencephalogram (EEG) test may be suggested to check the electrical activity in the brain. An EEG records the brain's electrical activity via electrodes attached to your child's scalp. Children with epilepsy can have irregular electrical activity on their EEG. Scans of the brain, such as an MRI scan or a PET scan may also be done.


Treatment of epilepsy depends on the underlying cause. Anti-seizure medications are the mainstay of treatment. Pediatric Neurologists and epileptologists have expertise in determining the best medication depending on the type of epilepsy.

What If Medications Are Not Working?

One-third of patients with epilepsy can have Drug-Resistant Epilepsy. If medications do not work, your child should be seen by an Epileptologist who has specialized additional expertise to determine the best course of action. The epileptologist may suggest surgery or implanted devices such as vagus nerve stimulators. Some patients with epilepsy may benefit from brain surgery where the abnormal brain cells causing the seizures are removed to control the seizures. In some cases, a device called a vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) is implanted underneath the skin of the chest, like a heart pacemaker, to control the number of seizures experienced. Some children with epilepsy are recommended to follow a special diet called a ketogenic diet to help prevent seizures.

First Seizure Clinic

‘Funny turns’ are very common in children and may be a manifestation of childhood epilepsy. At the first seizure clinic, we offer a comprehensive evaluation of ‘funny turns’ including clinical assessment, a detailed review of clinical semiology, and other information to arrive at the diagnosis of whether a funny turn is a seizure or not and if a seizure then evaluation of the underlying childhood epilepsy syndrome and recommendation for appropriate treatment.

Children with funny turns should preferably be seen within days of their first ‘seizure’ for several reasons:

  • To determine if it was an epileptic seizure as the rate of misdiagnosis varies from 5-23 % in different studies and possible cause(s) that need further investigation.
  • To complete a diagnostic evaluation to determine risks for additional seizures.
  • To begin appropriate treatment as soon as possible, if there is a high risk for additional seizures.
  • In certain syndromes, such as Infantile spasms, Pyridoxine dependent seizures, and Dravet syndrome, early aggressive treatment may change the course of illness

At the First Seizure Clinic children and adolescents will be evaluated to determine:

  • The type of seizure
  • Identify triggers or What provoked the seizure
  • The likelihood of having another one
  • The most appropriate diagnostic tests to obtain. If an EEG is needed this can be arranged at the same visit.

Complex Epilepsy Clinic

Children and adolescents with difficult-to-control epilepsy are evaluated with a detailed review of the epilepsy type, previous medication review, and opinion about the current management. Every attempt will be made to know the underlying cause of your child’s epilepsy and a tailored treatment will be suggested depending on the cause of epilepsy. Patients will also be assessed for other therapies if their epilepsy is not controlled with a combination of anti-seizure medications.

The alternatives to anti-seizure medication may include a ketogenic diet, Vagal Nerve Stimulation, or Epilepsy surgery. Detailed evaluation of complex epilepsy patients may require further investigations and admission for the dedicated Pediatric Epilepsy Monitoring that can be arranged at the American Hospital Dubai.

EEG Services

We provide a range of neuro-diagnostic services in a private child-friendly setting. Our Neurophysiology scientist is trained in pediatric neuro-diagnostic techniques. The services provided include:

  • Standard Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Sleep deprived EEG
  • Prolonged EEG
  • Overnight Video EEG

Standard (Routine) EEG

Usually, a standard EEG test will be done in the clinic room. This study is normally performed in awake patients.

Sleep-deprived EEG

A sleep-deprived EEG test is done when a child has had less sleep than usual, the night before the study (‘sleep deprived’). When patients are sleep deprived, there is a higher chance that abnormal electrical activity (if present) will be detected. Before a sleep-deprived EEG test, school-aged children (>5 years) will be asked to stay up as late as possible (3 hours past the normal bedtime) and to wake up at least 2 hours earlier than normal. Care should be taken and a discussion with your doctor should occur if your sleep deprivation is a trigger for your child’s seizure. In that case, it may be possible just to wake your child up earlier than usual on the day of the EEG test.

Prolonged EEG

Prolonged EEG involves EEG recording for up to 3 hours in an outpatient setting. The procedure is performed at American Hospital Dubai and is ideal for children who need prolonged recording but are not candidates for overnight EEG recording.

Overnight Video-EEG Study

This study is reserved for selected individuals to capture EEG during a normal awake and sleep state. This study requires admission to The American Hospital Dubai and the video EEG recording occurs overnight. This study is similar to a standard EEG except that it records for a number of hours in the hospital with the ability to capture sleep EEG features and record events suspicious of a seizure.

Pediatric Neurodevelopment Service

We offer holistic and child-centered medical assessment and support for children with Neuro-disability and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Our highly qualified pediatric multidisciplinary team consists of a consultant pediatric neurologist, Consultant Pediatric rehabilitation physician, speech and language therapist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, and clinical psychologist.

During the first consultation visit we discuss parents’ concerns, take a medical history, and undertake a thorough neurological examination.

Based on the outcome of the first visit and the recognized child’s difficulties, further assessments may be recommended. This could include a detailed and standardized general neurodevelopmental assessment or specific physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, or psychology assessment and support. Evaluation of specific disorders, such as autism or ADHD may also be recommended.

We provide a diagnostic evaluation of a broad range of neurodevelopmental problems including opinions about the diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of the problem and evidence-based management strategies.

Some Of The Neurodevelopmental Problems We Assess And Manage Are:

  • Speech and language delay
  • Delayed walking and motor skills
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • ADHD
  • Sensory Processing Disorder
  • Cognitive delay
  • Genetic disorders such as Down syndrome and Prader Willi syndrome
  • learning difficulties
  • Dyslexia and other learning disabilities
  • Dyspraxia

Pediatric Neurorehabilitation Service

We provide neurorehabilitation services for a broad range of neurological disorders including cerebral palsy and neuromuscular conditions. At AHD you’ll find a broad range of physicians and other health care professionals, specialized in caring for children requiring neuro-rehabilitation. Our specialists work collaboratively to help achieve the best outcome for your child and make sure you and your family have the support you need.

Neurodevelopment refers to the progress in growing children’s abilities of speech and language,  mobility and manual dexterity. It follows typical stages or milestones.  

Delay in reaching communication, language,  or motor skills milestones is called neurodevelopmental delay. 

This may be caused by a variety of factors, including genetic and metabolic disorders, complications during pregnancy, and premature birth.  

At the American hospital, we offer holistic and child-centered medical assessment and support of children with neurodevelopmental disorders.  

The management is carried out by a highly qualified pediatric multidisciplinary team consisting of a consultant pediatrician, speech and language therapist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, and clinical psychologist 

We undertake a thorough pediatric neurology and a standardized neruodevelopmental assessment.  

We run all necessary investigations such as genetic and metabolic testing, MRI neuroimaging and  EEG. We provide early intervention program to help your child reach their potential.  

Autism spectrum disorder, ASD, is a neurodevelopmental disorder that primarily affects the child’s communication and interaction skills.  Children’s difficulties manifest in two key areas: 

  1. Social interaction and social communication:  Children with autism spectrum disorder find it difficult to relate to others. They have delayed or disordered speech and language skills. They have also difficulties in non-verbal communication such as smiling and making eye contact.  

2-Restricted interests and behaviour: Children with autism spectrum disorder might become excessively  preoccupied with a single topic, such as cars, numbers, or weather. They tend to have rituals that they must follow exactly. E.g. they may insist on eating particular foods in a specific order, or to take the exact same route home to school. They become excessively upset, if these habits are disrupted.  

While Autism spectrum disorder cannot be cured, many of their difficulties can be improved if they are diagnosed early. It is therefore important that children with autism are diagnosed as early as possible.  

Here at the American hospital we have dedicated professionals with high experience in diagnosing and managing Autism. We take a multidisciplinary approach that includes, pediatric neurology assessment,  Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy and clinical psychology.  

ADHD stands for "attention deficit hyperactivity disorder." It is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulties in two key areas: 

Attention deficit: Children have trouble paying attention or focusing on a single topic. 

Hyperactivity: excessive activity. Children may e.g. have difficulties sitting still or playing quietly. 

We undertake a multi-professional assessment which includes pediatric neurology assessment,  psychology and occupational therapy assessment.  

We offer effective ADHD treatment based on a combination of medication and behavior treatment.  

Cerebral palsy is a disorder that primarily causes problems with movement and balance. Many symptoms are caused by weakness or stiffness of the child’s skeletal muscles. Children with cerebral palsy often also have other problems, such as difficulties with eating and drinking ( dysphagia), recurrent chest infections, seizures, and hearing and vision problems.  

At the American Hospital we take a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to the assessment and management of cerebral palsy.  

We have access to all necessary investigations, including neuroimaging with MRI, genetic and metabolic testing, and EEG.  

We provide an early intervention program, which will support your child to undertake everyday activities to the best of their potential and abilities.  

We may prescribe medicines to treat symptoms such as stiff muscles or seizures.  

We ensure that children are provided with the optimal nutrition to support their weight gain and development.  


Epilepsy is a condition that causes repeated seizures (fits) caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. This may manifest as convulsions (tonic-clonic seizures), blank staring (absence seizures), or passing out (syncope).  

At the American hospital, we run all the necessary investigations, including EEG, neuroimaging, and genetic and metabolic testing.  

If epilepsy is confirmed, we can provide and monitor effective treatment with anti-seizure medicines.  

Doctors Panel of Pediatric Neurology and Epilepsy Service

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