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We Mind Institute

Elza Vasconcellos, MD: The Wisdom of a Pediatric Neurologist with the Heart of a Mother.

We Mind Institute specializes in pediatric neurology care, headache, brain mapping/quantitative EEG, EEG/ambulatory EEG, neurofeedback/ neurointegration treatment, ADHD/ADD and autism spectrum disorders.

What parents wouldn’t want their children treated by a doctor decorated with awards? For children being treated by Dr. Elza Vasconcellos, they have such the privilege. Dr. Vasconcellos, who specializes in Child Neurology and Headache Medicine, has been honored with the MD Pride Certificate of Excellence from Miami Children’s Hospital, Best of the Best scientific presentation from The American Academy of Neurology, First Prize Senior Level from The Cleveland Foundation, American Epilepsy Society Young Investigator Award and The James True Martin Award from The Department of Neurology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Perhaps this helps explain why she is also a nationally and internationally recognized speaker.

Through her formal studies, research, professional practice and personal experience, Dr. Vasconcellos deeply understands the multiple causes and conditions of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, which is why she examines and treats the whole child in the context of his/her environment. Because she believes in treating the whole patient, Dr. Vasconcellos is constantly alert to other health related issues that may be affecting her patients. In addition, her personal experience as a mother of children with different developmental disorders adds credence to her passion to serve her patients and their parents as if they were family.

As the founder of We Mind Institute, Dr. Vasconcellos offers children and adults under 21 years of age outpatient consultation and comprehensive evaluation and management of neurologic disorders. At We Mind Institute, she and her highly trained neurology team are able to offer the best and most effective care and treatment for young people suffering from neurological conditions, including headaches, migraine, autism, ADHD, learning disorder and developmental delays. She is the only certified pediatric headache medicine specialist in South Florida and is trained to perform delicate and specialized procedures, such as Botox and nerve block injections, for patients with disabling and intractable headaches.

When asked why she chose to specialize in child neurology, Dr. Vasconcellos replied that she is fascinated by the way the brain works, especially in the areas of child development. “The plasticity of the young brain is amazing,” she says, “and when disorders are diagnosed early there is so much potential for improvement with proper treatments.” It’s a field of growing importance and research, of which Dr. Vasconcellos plays an active role researching, writing textbook chapters and publishing related articles.

Diagnosing a neurological issue demands a multidisciplinary approach. One approach at We Mind Institute is brain mapping/quantitative EEG, an assessment technique that gathers the patient’s brainwave data and compares them to an age-matched normative database in order to help diagnose which area(s) of the brain may be functioning inadequately. Electronic computer testing is another method Dr. Vasconcellos uses to correctly diagnose ADD/ADHD, along with its severity. Dr. Vasconcellos also uses EEG, when called for, to record up to 40 minutes of brain activity in patients and with an ambulatory EEG, she is able to record up to 72 hours of brain activity. With the data collected through these various modes, Dr. Vasconcellos is able to provide a comprehensive diagnosis, allowing her patients to receive the treatments that will help them become the best they can be.

One of the treatments available at We Mind Institute for ADD/ADHD, autism and headaches is the neurointegration method of neurofeedback. The treatment is unique in that it retrains the brain through the use of photic response. With this therapy, the brain is able to create new and more efficient thought patterns. Through visual and auditory stimulation, ineffective brainwave patterns are hindered while positive brain activity is enhanced, leading to improvement of the conditions mentioned above.

Although Dr. Vasconcellos does not partner directly with schools, she does partner with parents to help them understand the school system in order to obtain the best available educational and developmental services for their children. She takes the time to educate parents, for example, on their child’s rights regarding 504 services in school as well as what should be in the child’s IEP to help him/her learn better in the classroom.

Dr. Vasconcellos also makes sure that parents are aware of therapy options and community and professional resources that could help their children. This is just one way that Dr. Vasconcellos takes care of the whole child, not just the issue at hand, and how she goes beyond her obligations as a physician. She is a very caring healthcare provider who truly does want to see her patients be successful.

 

Elza Vasconcellos, MD

  • Child Neurology and Headache Medicine

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

  • University of Brasilia, Brazil
  • University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL
  • Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
  • Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH

FELLOWSHIPS

  • Epilepsy /Clinical Neurophysiology
  • Child Neurology.

RESIDENCIES

  • Pediatrics
  • Child Neurology
  • Certified in Headache Medicine
  • Board Certified in Neurology with special qualification in Child Neurology
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