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The Neurological Care Centre

The Neurological Care Centre provides state of the art care for children and youth with disorders of the nervous system.

We all need a vision. Our vision is world of laughter, learning and playing; it’s a world graced with happy, healthy children striving to live extraordinary lives. 

And it’s this vision that fuels our daily work. We take on the most challenging cases, finding solutions to the most complex neurological problems in children. We persevere. We research. We innovate. We create new practices, techniques and standards. We work closely with a strong network of global experts; it informs our work and advances our research. In short, our highly experienced and globally recognized team of specialists do all they can to take on the impossible to optimize potential in the lives of the families in our care. 

What is the Angelman Syndrome Clinic?
The Angelman Syndrome Clinic is a collaboration between Neurology and Medical Psychology at BC Children's Hospital, serving children and adolescents across the province with Angelman Syndrome to support their overall health and development. We focus on issues around epilepsy, sleep, learning and behaviour. We provide families with tools to help their loved ones thrive in their community.

Beyond clinical supports, we provide opportunities for families to participate in our collaborative and active research program. We work closely with the Angelman Syndrome Clinic at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa.

What services are provided by the Angelman Syndrome Clinic?
We will review medical and developmental issues that are common in Angelman syndrome. We will provide medical management advice and spend time discussing behavioural and learning challenges. We will make further referrals and organize testing as necessary. Our clinic is intended to support community care teams, including pediatricians, family physicians as well as referring neurologists.

Who is a part of the Clinic?

The clinic team consists of two pediatric neurologists, Dr. Cyrus Boelman and Dr. Linda Huh, two psychologists, Dr. Krista Johnston and Dr. Jennifer Engle, and a nurse clinician, Ms. Lynne Beszant. They are sometimes joined in the clinic by physicians who are training in pediatric neurology.

Who should be referred to the Clinic?

Infants, children, and adolescents with a diagnosis of Angelman syndrome should be referred. We hope to see each patient on an annual basis to support and not replace their regular medical team.

How can my child be referred to the Clinic?

Referrals are accepted from family physicians, pediatricians, and other specialists and should be sent to the Division of Neurology at BC Children's Hospital.

When will my child be seen once referred?

Our clinic is scheduled 3-4 times per year. Given the time we spend with each family, about 2 hours, we do not see a high volume of patients each clinic. However, we prioritize seeing new patients, as returning patients may be seen at other times, depending on their needs.

I don't live in Vancouver. Can my child be assessed by the Angelman Syndrome Clinic?

Yes. While our program is based at BC Children's Hospital in Vancouver, we offer Telehealth from hospital or home and community outreach appointments whenever possible.

Where can I find more information about Angelman Syndrome?

We encourage families to connect with the Canadian Angelman Syndrome Society at An overview of Angelman syndrome can be found here:

What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The Ketogenic Diet is a medical prescription diet that is very high in fat, moderate in protein, and very low in carbohydrate. It must be calculated for each patient individually by a Registered Dietitian. The diet must be followed very strictly to achieve the desired effect. Modified versions of the classic ketogenic diet (Modified Ketogenic Diet, Modified Atkins Diet, MCT Oil Diet, or Low Glycemic Index Treatment) may be better suited for older children and teenagers.

What is the Ketogenic Diet Used for?
The ketogenic diet can be used to treat a variety of medical conditions. At BC Children's Hospital, ketogenic diets are used to treat seizures that have not been controlled with medications. The ketogenic diet is also the treatment of choice for patients with certain genetic diagnoses such as Glucose Transporter Type 1 Deficiency Syndrome (GLUT-1 DS) and Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Deficiency (PDHD). Although the ketogenic diet may be used for children with any type of seizure, it is particularly effective in controlling childhood myoclonic, absence and atonic (drop) seizures. The diet has also been shown to be beneficial in other epilepsy syndromes such as Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome.
All ketogenic diets require careful medical supervision and direction from a specially trained physician and dietitian. Medical supervision requires ongoing bloodwork and monitoring to prevent adverse effects. The ketogenic diet should not be attempted without a specially trained team including a physician and a registered dietitian.  Do not try to start the diet without medical supervision.

Who is a Candidate for the Ketogenic Diet?
Patients must be referred by a pediatric neurologist.

How can my child start on a ketogenic diet?
The first step is a referral to the ketogenic diet team from your child's pediatric neurologist. You and your child will then be seen by the ketogenic diet multidisciplinary team. The team will provide you with more information about the diet and determine whether or not your child is a good candidate for ketogenic dietary therapy.  

Where can I find more information about ketogenic diets?
Who can I contact about BC Children's Hospital's Ketogenic Diet Program?
Speak to your pediatric neurologist to discuss whether the ketogenic diet would be a good fit for your child.

I don't live in Vancouver.  Can my child be on the ketogenic diet?
Yes. While our program is based at BC Children's Hospital in Vancouver we offer telehealth and community outreach appointments whenever possible.

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What is the Sleep Medicine Program?

The BCCH Sleep Medicine Program is a multidisciplinary program serving children across the province with sleep problems such as sleep apnea, insomnia, hypersomnia (such as narcolepsy), restless legs syndrome, and parasomnias (unusual behaviours occurring from sleep), among others. It is the only program in British Columbia that is specifically dedicated to the treatment of children with sleep disorders.

The program is committed to improving the delivery of clinical care, and is closely tied to the Sleep At Home research initiative, which is dedicated to identifying and validating new technologies to bring sleep testing closer to the patient’s home.

What services are provided by the Sleep Medicine Program?
The Sleep Medicine Program provides both clinical assessments and objective testing. Over 600 clinic visits take place per year. In addition, nearly 400 overnight sleep studies (polysomnography) are performed annually. Other tests, including multiple sleep latency tests (MSLT), home oximetry, and actigraphy, are also provided.

Who is in the program?
Four physicians are currently part of the program, including one pediatric neurologist, Dr. James Lee, a fellowship-trained sleep specialist. He has a particular interest in hypersomnias, the interaction of epilepsy and sleep, insomnia, and sleep difficulties in children with neurological disorders. Dr. Lee sees patients in the Sleep Medicine Clinic, which is located within the Respiratory Medicine Clinic, weekly. He also does sleep assessments in the Neurology Clinic.

Who should be referred for a Sleep Assessment?

Infants, children, and adolescents with snoring or breathing problems during sleep, difficulty falling or staying asleep, daytime sleepiness, or abnormal nighttime behaviours can be referred to the Sleep Medicine Clinic. Referrals are accepted from family physicians, pediatricians, and other specialists.

How can my child be referred to the Sleep Medicine Program?
Referrals to Dr. Lee can be sent to either the Division of Neurology or the Division of Respiratory Medicine. General sleep referrals should be sent to the Division of Respiratory Medicine.

I don't live in Vancouver. Can my child be assessed by the Sleep Medicine Program?
Yes. If your child needs a coordinated test, such as an overnight sleep study, they can be seen in the clinic the day before or after the study takes place.  Selected patients can be seen by Virtual Health, which allows them to be assessed from home, without the need to travel to Vancouver. 


What to bring

It is important to your child to make this visit as informative as possible, so the adult(s) who come with her/him should have the best knowledge of the history. Please bring the following to each clinic visit:
  • BC CareCard/Services Card
  • List of medications your child takes
  • Medical or personal records, such as x-rays or lab tests. If you are unsure about what to bring, please call the clinic office.
  • If you have a number of questions, most parents find it handy to make a list to bring with them
For more information on planning your visit, please see here:

If you need to cancel

If you need to cancel your appointment, please contact us as soon as possible (at least 48 hours ahead of time, if you can) so that your appointment time can be used by another patient.

If you child has an infection

If your child has been in contact with any infectious diseases (such as chicken pox or measles) during the three weeks before your appointment, please let us know immediately. We might need to reschedule your appointment.

If you need an interpreter

If an interpreter would be helpful for you, please phone us as soon as possible and we will arrange for this.

Our Team

From the outset, every child and family is placed at the centre of our care. At each and every stage, families receive personalized expertise from our world leading Neurological Care team; and the knowledge they will always be treated with compassion and respect. Each child’s journey is actively supported and cared for through to adult transition.

Division Head, Pediatric Neurology: Dr. Mary Connolly
Dr. Ziad Abu Sharar
Dr. Alan Hill
Dr. Linda Huh
Dr. Aspasia (Sia) Michoulas
Dr. Elke Roland

Kelly Anderson, Epilepsy Surgery Program, VNS, EMU Nurse
Cindy Balayewich, Neuromuscular Clinic Nurse
Lynne Beszant, Clinic Nurse

Cristina Cahill, Clinic Nurse

Theresa Erb, Clinic Nurse

Ashlynn Kishore, Ketogenic Diet Program, Clinic Nurse

Eve McDonald, Outreach Program, EMU Nurse

Sharon Peinhof, Clinic Nurse

Meena Singhal, Spinal Cord Clinic Nurse

Cindy Siu (On Maternity Leave), Outreach Program Nurse

Francesca Zanotto, Ketogenic Diet Program, Clinic Nurse

Brigitte McRae, Neurology Inpatients Dietician

Lawren Pallot, Ketogenic Diet Program Dietician

Alex Printis (On Maternity Leave), Ketogenic Diet Program Dietician


Dr. Karen Mabilangan

Dr. Yvonne Nyakeri


Dr. Nawaf Al-Taweel

Dr. Michelle Chiu

Dr. Taylor Davis

Dr. Mary Jeffers

Dr. Thomas Ha

Dr. Curtis Hay

Dr. Micheline Lagacé

Dr. Leeza Looned

Dr. Matt MacDonald

Dr. Johann Micallef

Dr. Maksim Parfyonov

Dr. Paul Webb

Cindy Dela Torre - Drs. Mary Connolly and Linda Huh

Ildy Haid - Clinic Reception

Janet Espino - Rett Syndrome Program, Neurometabolic Clinic and Drs. Anita Datta and Michelle Demos

Jina Lee - Outreach Program

Jasmin Lyons - Urgent On-Call and Senior Resident Clinic

Lisa Mandziuk - Drs. Alan Hill, Aspasia (Sia) Michoulas, Elke Roland and Dewi Schrader

Belinda Pocha - Neuromuscular Clinic and Drs. Ziad Abu Sharar and Kathryn Selby

Ekaterina Vinokour - Spinal Cord Clinic and Drs. Bruce Bjornson and Juliette Hukin

Brenda Zappone - Angelman Clinic and Drs. Cyrus Boelman and James Lee

Research Director: ‎Dr. Vesna Popovska

Mihaela Anghelina

Meghan Boersma

Alexander Cheong

Inderpal Gill

Sanja Hadzi-Nikolova

Daniel Kim

Stephanie Kwok

Nela Martic

Naheeda Rajmohamed

For more research-related information, please go to:

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