The brain is intimately connected to every other part of the body, and when the brain is injured, organ systems including the muscles, lungs, and digestive tract are affected, too. Read more.
The ripple effects of brain injury are different and sometimes more acute in children than adults, since their bodies are changing and growing, says Heakyung Kim, MD, Director of CUMC’s Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation service. Dr. Kim is one of just 250 board-certified pediatric physiatrists in the country, and she provides rehabilitation to children with chronic, hereditary, and post-trauma neurologic conditions that cause pain and problems with function.
Many of Dr. Kim treats patients with not only cerebral palsy (CP) and traumatic brain injury, but also children with brain tumors, stroke, peripheral neuropathy, spinal disorders, spinal cord injury, spina bifida, and movement disorders. While her patients range in age from infancy to 21, she is following a small but increasing number of adults with CP. As Associate Director of Rehabilitation for the Weinberg Family Cerebral Palsy Center, Dr. Kim collaborates closely with center executive director David Roye, MD, on research initiatives and patient care.
“If we are involved in children’s care earlier in their life, we can prevent the multiple complications they might develop, and help them achieve their best functioning.”