Conditions we treat

Use the search box below to learn more about the conditions we treat at Great Ormond Street Hospital. 

Head injuries

Head injuries may involve the scalp, the skull, the brain or its protective membranes.This page from Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) explains the effects that a head injury can have on a child. It also sets out the treatment and care of any complications following a head injury.

Closed spinal dysraphism

In early development, the brain and spinal cord start as a tube-like structure called the ‘neural tube’ that is open at either end. These openings close within the first weeks of pregnancy, and the neural tube continues to grow and fold, eventually forming the brain and spinal cord.

Myelomeningocele

Myelomeningocele is a type of spina bifida. This is when the neural tube has failed to close and the neural tissue is exposed on the baby’s back. The myelomeningocele will look like a sac sticking out from a baby’s back. 

Hydrocephalus

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a watery liquid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, acting as a ‘cushion’. It also supplies nutrients to the brain. Hydrocephalus occurs when either too much CSF is produced (very rare), or when it is stopped from circulating or being re-absorbed. The CSF builds up within the ventricles (cavities) of the brain resulting in increased pressure on the brain. In babies, this also causes the head to enlarge

Retinopathy of prematurity

In the womb, the retina (the light sensitive surface at the back of the eye that converts images into nerve signals that the brain understands) develops slowly and the retinal blood vessels often only complete growing by the end of gestation. If a child is born prematurely these blood vessels can grow abnormally causing damage to the retina and of course vision. This is called retinopathy of prematurity.

Optic neuritis

Optic neuritis (ON) is an attack of inflammation (swelling) of the optic nerve. The optic nerve is important in sending information from the eye to the brain about what we are seeing. ON is caused by the body’s immune system becoming mis-programmed and activating immune cells to attack the healthy myelin covering the optic nerve.