The Blue Bird Circle Clinic and Research

When you support The Blue Bird Circle, you support children with neurological disorders.

We’re a Houston organization whose impact is felt around the world through our partnership with leading health providers and researchers. Learn more about our clinic and research centers below.

 

Pediatric Neurology

The Blue Bird Circle Clinic for Pediatric Neurology at Texas Children’s Hospital

The Blue Bird Circle Clinic for Pediatric Neurology is the largest pediatric neurology clinic in the United States, and specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care for neurological disorders in children. With over 40,000 scheduled visits each year, providers see patients with a diverse array of neurological conditions ranging from the common to the very rare.

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The large team of specialists in The Blue Bird Circle Clinic cares for patients with more than 450 neurological disorders including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, developmental delay, sleep disorders, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, headaches, attention disorders, stroke, cortical malformations, and brain tumors.

The Clinic also diagnoses and treats rare disorders as Rett syndrome, Angelman syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, Batten’s Disease, and Prader-Willi syndrome, and participates in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undiagnosed Diseases Network as a clinical research site.

Satellite neurology clinics are located in Clear Lake, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, TCH West Campus, and Austin.

MILESTONES

2004

Start of Natural History study-related Rett Syndrome (Currently still running)

2013

Minimally invasive MRI-Guided Interstitial Thermal Therapy for Epilepsy (Laser Ablation Epilepsy Surgery)

2018

First Implant of Pediatric Epilepsy Patient with Responsive Neurostimulator (RNS). This therapy allows for the treatment of focal epilepsy patients that would not have been previously candidates for Epilepsy Surgery.

 First Dedicated Pediatric Neuro Intensive Care Monitoring Opened as Part of TCH Legacy Tower Opening

2019

Dedicated Infantile Spasms Clinic – Focused on timely treatment of patients suspected of Infantile Spasms to decrease morbidity and improve long-term outcomes for these patients.

2020

Availability of four unique gene therapies for Duschenne Muscular Dystrophy offered through the MDA Clinic at BBC Clinic

 BCM/TCH Enrollment of the Rare Disease Network through the NIH as a clinical site

2021

Texas Mandated Screening begins Summer of 2021 for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) in newborns and subsequent rapid Follow-up clinic at TCH to start new gene therapies allowing for a significant reduction in morbidity and mortality for these patients

Opening of the Mitochondrial Disorders Clinic in the BBC Neurology Clinic – Focused Multidisciplinary clinic for patients to receive comprehensive care including genetics, neurology, palliative care and other subspecialties.

For further information, please contact:
Texas Children’s Hospital

832-822-5046

Neurology Department Website

Buildings of the Texas Children's Hospital

Clinical Research Center

The Blue Bird Circle Clinical Research Center at Texas Children’s Hospital

The Blue Bird Circle Clinical Research Center’s mission is to bring ever-advancing therapies to its patients. The Center supports cutting-edge research in neurology, and enhances the larger effort to build a clinical research support structure that will advance care to the next level and make a difference in the lives of children affected by neurological disorders.

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The Center capitalizes on the remarkable scientific discoveries being made in childhood neurologic diseases and serves as the clinical research arm of the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital, as well as for The Blue Bird Circle Developmental Neurogenetics Lab and The Blue Bird Circle Rett Center, developing the treatments and cures of tomorrow.  Currently, there are over 100 active research protocols in pediatric neurology.  Included in this are clinical therapeutic trials, patient registries, rare diseases research, Biomarker/Genetic studies and National Institute of Health research grants.

Developmental Neurogentics Laboratory

The Blue Bird Circle Developmental Neurogenetics Laboratory at Baylor College of Medicine

The researchers at The Blue Bird Circle Developmental Neurogenetics Laboratory have made critical breakthroughs in epilepsy, including the identification of over forty genes related to common childhood seizures. A major focus is on developing new strategies for the early detection and prevention of seizure-induced damage in the brain caused by rare catastrophic epilepsies, brain tumors, and Alzheimer’s dementia.

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In the late 1990s, the Laboratory created a national family research partnership program to discover families with epilepsy. In the last decade, it directed a major project with the Baylor Human Genome Sequencing Center to explore the role of ion channel genes. The Laboratory works to discover the genes and mechanisms underlying childhood epilepsies in order to improve the lives of children by developing more accurate ways of diagnosing and treating childhood neurological problems at the earliest possible stage.

The Laboratory continues to expand its basic research program with the development of a state-of-the-art molecular and imaging facility. It has received numerous international leadership, scientific, and training awards and actively collaborates with many biomedical research centers throughout the world.

Over the last 35 years, the Blue Bird Circle Developmental Neurogenetics Laboratory has trained over 60 young clinical and scientific investigators in the field of seizure disorders, and based on their work, has authored over 300 publications in premier scientific journals and textbooks of epilepsy and genetics.

Milestones

2014 Early estrogen therapy can prevent X-linked infantile spasms, a catastrophic form of epilepsy.

2015 Awarded $27.3M National Institutes of Health grant to lead ‘Center without Walls’ consortium of U.S. hospitals to identify mechanisms of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).

2016 High-resolution map of the minimal brain circuit causing childhood absence epilepsy.

2017 Verified that ‘silent seizures’ discovered in mouse models of Alzheimer’s Disease are also present in human AD patients.

2018 First live imaging of neuronal firing patterns in the neocortex during absence seizures

2019 Proof that childhood absence epilepsy does not arise due to disruption during the early critical period of brain development, and therefore may be reversible by gene therapy after it has appeared

2020 Described how brain tumors such as malignant glioblastoma trigger seizures and previously unreported waves of electrical silence in the brain

2021 Identified the first gene in the serotonin transmitter pathway involved in depression that is linked to seizures and premature mortality

Rett Center

The Blue Bird Circle Rett Center at Baylor College of Medicine

The Blue Bird Circle Rett Center is one of the few centers in the world that specializes in the diagnosis and care of patients with Rett Syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder that develops almost exclusively in females.  The Center is one of only 15 Centers in the United States certified as a “Center of Excellence” by the International Rett Syndrome Foundation.

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The syndrome causes chronic neurological problems that include severe communication and motor disabilities. There is no known cure for the disorder, but the Center offers a multi-disciplinary approach focused on care, education, and research that will improve the quality of life for patients and their families.