Specialized Treatment Programs

    Multiple Sclerosis

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the spinal cord and body. Early MS symptoms include weakness, tingling, numbness, and blurred vision. Other signs are muscle stiffness, thinking problems, and urinary problems. Effective treatment can relieve MS symptoms and delay disease progression

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    Research has shown that people with Multiple Sclerosis make greater improvements while under the care of experienced clinicians within a specialist Multiple Sclerosis service.  The American Center for Psychiatry and Neurology is the first of its kind in the UAE to offer specialist, coordinated multidisciplinary management of MS, with patients able to access a range of services and treatments tailored specifically to their individual needs. 


    To date, there is no definitive single laboratory test to confirm Multiple Sclerosis, therefore a confirmed diagnosis requires a comprehensive evaluation by a Neurologist with expertise in the field of MS. At the American Center for Psychiatry and Neurology we have some of the region’s leading Neurologists able to provide premier treatment and individualized care.

    ARFID - Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder

    What is ARFID? ARFID is an eating or feeding disturbance that is characterized by a persistent failure to meet appropriate nutritional and/or energy needs. It is the second most common eating disorder in children 12 years and younger but unfortunately largely under diagnosed: 63% of pediatricians are unfamiliar with this diagnosis.

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    It describes individuals whose symptoms do not match the criteria for traditional eating disorder diagnoses (no fear of weight gain), but who experience clinically significant struggles with eating and food: difficulty digesting certain foods, avoiding certain colors or textures of food, eating only very small portions or being afraid to eat to the extent that they are not getting enough to eat and/or become impaired psycho-socially.

    ARFID is more than just “picky eating”; children do not grow out of it and often become malnourished because of the limited variety of foods they will eat.

    Who gets it?

    • The true prevalence of ARFID is still being studied, but preliminary estimates suggest it may affect as many as 5% of children. 
    • ARFID is the second most common eating disorder in children 12 years and younger. 
    • Roughly 20% of individuals with ARFID are males. 
    • 80% of the children with developmental disorders have symptoms of ARFID.
    • It's mainly a disorder of early childhood but can be diagnosed past age 6 and in adolescents and adults.

    Night Eating Syndrome

    What is Night Eating Syndrome? Most of us have had the urge to grab a bite to eat in the middle of the night when we can’t sleep, feel worried or just have after-dinner hunger pangs. But when eating in the middle of the night gets out of control, your health may be in danger. Consistently consuming most of your calories between the dinner hour and breakfast time is a warning sign of night eating syndrome, or nocturnal eating syndrome (NES). NES is a serious eating disorder that has been linked with depression, stress, hormonal imbalances and abnormal sleep patterns.

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    What are the symptoms of Night Eating Syndrome?

    How do you know when you’ve crossed the line between after-dark snacking and disordered eating habits? Night eating syndrome is associated with a number of unhealthy behaviors, including:

    • Eating very little during the daylight hours
    • Consuming most of your calories in the evening or at night
    • Waking in the middle of the night to binge eat
    • Losing sleep because of late-night eating habits
    • People with NES may have difficulty getting to sleep or falling asleep. They overeat partly to be able to fall asleep. They may eat during episodes of insomnia but they are always awake during their binges.

    Health Risks and Complications

    NES is a serious eating disorder that can have a negative impact on your diet and your sleeping patterns. Many of those who struggle with this syndrome become overweight or obese as a result of their late-night eating habits, according to Obesity Reviews. Obesity can lead to a number of severe, chronic health complications.

    Getting up to eat interrupts your sleep, which could affect your mood, memory and cognitive performance. The loss of sleep can interfere with concentration, increase your risk of accidental injury, and contribute to depression or anxiety disorders. . If you’ve been eating in the middle of the night for more than a week or two, your eating patterns should be evaluated by an eating disorders specialist.


    What is Bigorexia (also referred to as muscle dysmorphia or reverse anorexia)? It’s a form of Body Dysmorphic Disorder (DSM 5) that results in a variety of obsessive-compulsive behaviors regarding diet and fitness Individuals with bigorexia develop an obsession with their muscularity believing themselves to be too weak and small no matter how big their muscles are. The condition is also referred to as ‘reverse anorexia.’ In anorexia, a person diets excessively due to a fear of gaining weight but fails to see himself thin enough, in contrast, in bigorexia, the person eats excessively especially high-protein foods to develop a big body but fails to ever see himself big enough.

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    It’s characterized by an intense fear that one is insufficiently muscular no matter how muscular he is in the reality:

    • An excessive drive to enhance the visible appearance of muscularity.
    • Accompanying behaviors include excessive working out behavior (oriented towards both building muscularity and reducing body fat, which obscures the visibility of muscularity), which takes precedence over other important areas of life,
    • Excessive regulation of dietary intake (over-regulation of protein intake, and/or the reduction of carbohydrates and fats), 
    • Use of appearance enhancing substances such as anabolic androgenic steroids.
    • Extreme muscularity is not a defining feature of MD, and the core features may occur along a spectrum of widely varying degrees of muscularity.

    Who gets it? 

    Although men are most susceptible, both men and women can be affected by this disorder. Approximately 10% of the men who are obsessive gym-goers have this disorder

    Bulimia Nervosa

    What is Bulimia Nervosa? Bulimia nervosa is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by a cycle of bingeing and compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, laxative abuse, diuretics or over-exercising designed to undo or compensate for the effects of binge eating. It's important to note these methods are very dangerous, completely ineffective in calorie removal and with time promote weight gain.

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    What are the Symptoms?

    • Frequent episodes of consuming very large amount of food followed by behaviors to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting.
    • A feeling of being out of control during the binge-eating episodes.
    • Purging after a binge, typically by self-induced vomiting, abuse of laxatives, diet pills and/or diuretics, excessive exercise, or fasting.
    • Frequent diets and or very restrictive eating habits.
    • Extreme concern with body weight and shape. 
    • Self-esteem overly related to body image.

    The chance for recovery increases the earlier bulimia nervosa is detected. Therefore, it is important to be aware of some of the warning signs of bulimia nervosa.


    Orthorexia Nervosa

    Orthorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an obsession on consuming only healthy and clean food.

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    What are the symptoms of orthorexia?

    • Not everyone will show the same symptoms, but the most common are:
    • An obsession with healthy food

    • Increase in the amount of time spent daily n obsession with healthy food
    • Increase in the amount of time spent daily eating only food that’s considered “pure”.
    • Distancing from friends or family members who do not share similar views about food
    • Regular advance planning of meals for the next day.
    • Fear that eating away from home will make it impossible to comply with diet
    • Feeling like certain foods are dangerous or disgusting (such as meat, products which include preservatives, artificial ingredients and processed foods).
    • Avoiding eating food bought or prepared by others
    • A strong and uncontrollable desire to eat emotionally (when feeling excited, guilty or nervous.)
    • Feeling critical of and superior to individuals who don’t eat as healthy.
    • Experiencing extreme pleasure in eating “correctly” but feeling intense despair when failing to do so, which could lead to additional exercise and eating right.
    • Worsening depression, mood swings or anxiety

    Binge Eating Disorder

    What is Binge-Eating Disorder? Despite the fact that it affects millions of Americans, binge eating disorder (BED) is a widely misunderstood mental disorder. This illness, which involves frequent overeating marked by distress and lack of control, has long been underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

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    Bingeing goes beyond feeling “stuffed” or overeating on occasion. Binges become a regular occurrence, feel out of control and are followed by distress, shame and embarrassment. Binge eating disorder is a severe, life-threatening and treatable eating disorder. Common aspects of BED include functional impairment, suicide risk and a high frequency of co-occurring psychiatric disorders. Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the United States, affecting 3.5% of women, 2% of men,1 and up to 1.6% of adolescents.

    Anorexia Nervosa

    What is Anorexia Nervosa? Anorexia nervosa is a serious medical and mental health condition that can be life-threatening. Anorexia is characterized by an obsessive fear of weight gain and a refusal to maintain a healthy body weight and typically a distorted body image. Sufferers may restrict caloric intake or purge calories consumed through vomiting (also called purging), laxative/diuretic abuse and/or compulsive exercise.

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    Who gets it?

    • A big majority of anorexia nervosa sufferers are girls and women
    • Anorexia nervosa can also affect men: the last decade has witnessed a significant increase in the numbers of men suffering from it: the current female to mal ratio is 4 to 1 and was 10 to 1 10 years ago
    • Between 0.5–1% of American women suffer from anorexia nervosa.
    • Anorexia nervosa is one of the most common psychiatric diagnoses in young women.
    • Anorexia Nervosa is the deadliest of all mental health disorders: between 5-20% of individuals struggling with the disorder will die from it.
    • Anorexia nervosa typically appears in early to mid-adolescence in women and appears slightly later in men.


    Attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common childhood behavioral disorder that can continue its progression into adulthood. Symptoms in children include difficulty staying focused, over-activity and impulsivity. Children with ADHD often find it hard to complete tasks and perform up to their peers and often have problems at school.

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    There are three subtypes of ADHD which include:

    • Combined ADHD: involves symptoms of both lack of attentiveness and over-activity/impulsivity
    • Inattentive ADHD: previously known as ADD, involves symptoms of lack of attentiveness and concentration
    • Hyperactive-impulsive ADHD: involves symptoms of over-activity paired with impulsivity, without problems with attentiveness

    Developement Delay

    Development is the process by which a child learns new skills to interact with those around them and survive in their environment. It happens at a rapid rate during early childhood. Basic skills developed are combined to learn more complex skills such as walking, playing, speaking and thinking. Although children grow at different rates, certain milestones of development such as sitting, walking, talking etc. are associated with particular age groups. Some children may catch up with their peers after displaying an initial delay in development (transient developmental delay) while others show significant developmental delay that need further evaluation (persistent developmental delay).

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    Children may show persistent developmental delay in one or more areas including:

    • Speech and language: understanding, speaking and using language
    • Motor skills: Basic movement and fine motor skills such as manipulating objects
    • Intellectual or cognitive ability: Understanding, thinking and learning
    • Social and emotional skills: Ability to associate with people and develop independence

    Sleep Disorders

    Sleep is essential for physical health and emotional wellbeing. Everyone experiences occasional sleeping problems, but if your child repeatedly experiences problems sleeping, it could indicate an underlying health problem. Sleep disorders are problems associated with sleeping, including difficulty falling or staying asleep through the night, feeling sleepy during the day, snoring, breathing pauses while sleeping, sleepwalking, nightmares or waking up feeling exhausted. Because of lack of sleep, your child may find it difficult to concentrate and perform activities of daily living. This lack of sleep can lead to problems in mood, learning and behavior, or other health problems.

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    Some of the common types of sleep disorders include:

    • Insomnia: Insomnia is a type of sleep disorder characterized by disruptive sleep cycles – difficulty falling asleep or staying a sleep.
    • Obstructive sleep apnea: Obstructive sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder in which breathing occasionally stops or gets very shallow during sleep.
    • Restless legs syndrome (RLS): Restless legs syndrome is a disorder characterized by a tingling or prickly sensation in the legs and an urge or need to move the legs.
    • Parasomnias: This refers to abnormal behaviors that occur during sleep. Parasomnias include nightmares, night terrors, sleep walking, and sleep talking, head banging, wetting the bed and grinding teeth.


    Autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of neuro developmental disorders characterized by impaired social skills, communication and behavior, which are usually recognized in the first three years of life. A range of symptoms may occur in different combinations of varying severity.

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    Social skills:

    • Withdrawal from social situations, avoiding eye contact or smiling, difficulty responding to their name and sometimes lack of empathy
    • As they grow older, autistic children have difficulty making friends due to their inability to sustain conversations or pick up on social cues, such as facial expressions or changes in voice tone, which normally help a person understand what others are thinking or feeling.


    • Delay in speech development
    • Speech is characterized by a sing-song voice
    • Lack of speech in severe forms


    • Focus on one object for a long time
    • Engage in repetitive acts such as twirling or rocking, or self-abusive behavior such as banging their head or biting
    • Develop certain rituals or routines


    Epilepsy is a condition caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain, which produce episodes of involuntary shaking (seizures)that may be followed by periods of unconsciousness. Seizures may be generalized, involving the whole brain, or partial, where a part of the brain is involved. Generalized seizures may present as staring spells, unconsciousness, sporadic jerking movements, muscle rigidity, or loss of muscle tone, causing your child to fall down. Partial seizures may produce changes in sensation (hearing, vision, smell, taste or touch), involuntary chewing, lip smacking and other repetitive movements, and emotional disturbances. Other symptoms of epilepsy include confusion and staring spells. Epilepsy usually begins in childhood.

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    Your child’s doctor will first rule out other possible causes of seizures before confirming a diagnosis of epilepsy. A thorough history and physical examination is performed. Your child’s doctor may order blood tests, an electroencephalogram (EEG) to study the electrical activity of the brain and an MRI to look for brain abnormalities.

    Speech Delay

    Phonology is referred to as the study of the sounds of language. Pronunciation errors are common in children when they are learning to talk. During the child’s development stages, phonological disorders can affect a child’s ability to learn, read or spell. Speech problems are usually temporary and can often be overcome.

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    Types of problems with speech may include:

    • Mispronunciation: Your child often substitutes ‘f‘ or ‘d’ for ‘th’, or mixes up words. For example your child may say “I am taking abaf” instead of “I am taking a bath.”
    • Lisping: Your child may pronounce “s” as “th”. For instance, “sister” will become “thithter” and“seven” may be pronounced as “theven”. During this condition, your child pushes the tongue out while pronouncing these letters whereas normally the tongue touches the upper teeth while speaking or pronouncing these letters.
    • Stuttering: This is the repetition of certain words, sounds or phrases. In children, it is common to stutter until the age of 7 years, but sometimes it may become a permanent speech disorder. One of the causes for stuttering is genetic predisposition.
    • Flow: This condition is where your child is learning new speech skills and struggles to speak in sentences.
    • Hoarseness: This refers to a change in voice or sound because of laryngitis or upper respiratory tract infection.
    • Slurred speech and difficulty in speaking: This can develop from nerve and muscle disorders.

    Some of the common speech disorders are:

    • Apraxia: It is caused due to disorders of the nervous system, which affects the child’s ability to pronounce words and produce sounds. In this condition, the brain does not send signals properly to the body parts involved in speech. For example, your child may pronounce ‘sut’ for ‘sat’.
    • Dysarthria: This is a dysfunction or impairment of the neuromotor or neuromuscular systems causing unclear speech articulation.

    Learning Disability (Memory or Learning Difficulties)

    Memory is the ability to retain and retrieve information. Memory retained indefinitely such as your name, where you work or how to ride a bike is termed long-term memory. Working memory is the ability to hold on to information for a short while as you process and integrate it with new information being received. This includes remembering the beginning of a sentence when you reach its end or remembering numbers while performing simple math. Difficulties with learning are usually associated with difficulties in working memory.

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    Difficulties with working memory may be present by itself or as a feature in a wide variety of specific learning difficulties which may include:

    • Dyslexia: Affects reading and language processing to various degrees
    • Dyscalculia: Problems with numbers, mathematical calculations and telling time
    • Attention deficit disorder (ADHD): Difficulties with paying attention and focusing
    • Dysgraphia: Problems with the formation of alphabets
    • Aphasia: Difficulty with the use of language to understand other’s speech, comprehend while reading and express themselves with the right words

    Movement disorder service

    Movements are produced by an interaction between the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles. Damage to any of these structures can lead to disruption or loss of movement. Movement disorders are a group of neurological disorders characterized by abnormal involuntary or voluntary movements. Deficit in movements may involve weakness, paralysis or exaggerated reflexes of voluntary muscles, decreased movement of involuntary muscles, and loss of coordination.

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    Some movement disorders in children may include

    • Tics: sudden, non-rhythmic and repetitive movements that ofteninvolvethe head and upper body
    • Chorea: Brief, chaotic, repetitive movements
    • Dystonia: Sustained repetitive movements with abnormal postures
    • Tremors: Rhythmic oscillation around a central position of one or more parts of the body
    • Sterotypy: Episodic, repetitive, rhythmic movements that have a pattern

    Neurometabolic & Neurogenetic conditions

    These conditions are rare but collectively they have a substantial impact on the local healthcare system. These conditions require a systematic and evidence-based diagnostic approach with continuous discussion with parents. Many a times a definitive diagnosis is not reached in spite of all the investigative processes and in those cases symptomatic management is initiated. We have collaborated with accredited and reputed laboratories across the country for the judicious use of investigative procedures. Once the diagnosis is made appropriate referral to the clinical geneticist and metabolic physician is made.

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    Behavioral/Conduct disorders

    Behavioral problems are common in children as they grow up and learn to relate to people and situations. They may show defiance and have difficulty getting along with others, causing them to talk back and get into fights. If these problems are persistent and cannot be corrected with time, advice or redirection, it may be a sign of a behavioral disorder.

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    Behavioral disorders may be recognized through symptoms such as anger, defiance, involvement in law-breaking activities, lack of empathy, being aggressive and impulsive, poor performance at school, premature sexual activity, and inability to handle frustrations. Substance abuse and suicidal tendencies are common in those with behavioral disorders;hence, it is necessary to seek assistance early. While the dynamics of the family and upbringing play a vital role, behavioral disorders may also be associated with other mental health problems, such as depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    Headaches & Migraines

    Pain in any region of the head is called a headache. It may involve one or both sides of the head and may radiate to the neck and shoulders. Your child may experience dull pressure, a throbbing sensation or sharp pain that may last anywhere between an hour to days.In some cases it may indicate a serious underlying disease.

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    Headaches are broadly classified into 2 types:

    • Primary headaches are caused by stress, anxiety or certain triggers. They occur due to an overactive pain-sensitive region in the head and are not associated with any other condition.Common primary headaches can include tension headaches (result from tight muscles in the neck, scalp and shoulders), migraine (throbbing pain on one side of the head) and cluster headache (occurs in patterns or clusters).
    • Secondary headaches may be described as a symptom of another condition such as anear infection, sinusitis, dehydration, panic attack,meningitis (inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord) and concussion (brain injury), which may trigger the pain-sensitive region in the head.

    Neuromuscular disorders

    A neuromuscular disease is a disorder that affects the muscles and the nerves that control them. Neuromuscular disorders are conditions caused by impaired neuronal activity of the nerves that control the voluntary muscle activities. Children with neuromuscular disorders often experience muscle pain or weakness, muscle twitching, cramping, numbness and tingling, and muscle stiffness that causes joint deformities and sometimes difficulty in swallowing and breathing. Neuromuscular disorders in children may be present at the time of birth or may develop at later stages of life.

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    NeuroStar TMS Therapy

    NeuroStar TMS Therapy is an FDA-cleared, non-drug treatment for patients with depression who are not satisfied with the results of standard antidepressant medication. Proven safe and effective, NeuroStar TMS Therapy achieves results without the side effects often associated with antidepressant medications.

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    • An effective non-drug treatment for patients seeking alternate depression therapy
    • Precision Pulse TMS™ technology provides targeted stimulation to select regions of the brain
    • Outpatient procedure easily performed in the physicians’ office
    • Noninvasive and requires no anesthesia or sedation
    • Patients may return to normal activities immediately after treatment
    • Daily treatment performed 5 days a week for 4 to 6 weeks
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