Neurological Disorders

The brain can be divided into three areas, the cerebrum, the brainstem, and the cerebellum.

Anencephaly is a birth defect that affects the brain and skull bones. With this condition, the brain is not fully formed. It often lacks part or all of the cerebrum.

Acute spinal cord injury (SCI) is when the spinal cord is damaged from an accident or other situation. An SCI may be a bruise (contusion), a partial tear, or a complete tear (transection) in the spinal cord.

An abscess is a pocket of infection. In the brain, an abscess may be in one or more areas. This condition may cause problems with how the brain and spinal cord function. It is a serious and life-threatening condition that needs to be treated right away.

Detailed information on the most common congenital and hereditary disorders in children

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a lifelong condition that affects how the brain and muscles communicate. CP affects body movement, muscle control, coordination, reflexes, posture, and balance.

Craniosynostosis is a condition where one or more of the bones of the skull close too early. This can cause problems with normal brain and skull growth.

Detailed information on the most common diagnostic tests for neurological disorders in children

Evaluating and diagnosing damage to the nervous system can be complicated. Many of the same symptoms occur in different combinations among the different disorders, and many disorders do not have definitive causes, markers, or tests.

An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that measures the electrical activity in the brain (brain waves). Small, round discs with wires (electrodes) are placed on the scalp during the test. The electrodes are not painful to your child.

Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain. The inflammation causes the brain to swell. This leads to changes in a child's nervous system that can include confusion, changes in alertness, and seizures.

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) is a short-term but often life-threatening disorder that affects the nerves in the body. GBS can cause muscle weakness, pain, and short-term (temporary) paralysis of the facial, chest, and leg muscles.

A headache is pain or discomfort in one or more areas of the head or face. Headaches can happen once in a while. Or they may happen often.

A head injury can be as mild as a bump, bruise (contusion), or cut on the head. Or it can be a concussion, a deep cut or open wound, broken skull bones, internal bleeding, or damage to the brain. Head injuries are one of the most common causes of disability and death in children.

Detailed information on the most common inflammatory and infectious disorders in children

Detailed information on neurological disorders in children

Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is bleeding inside or around the ventricles in the brain. The ventricles are the spaces in the brain that contain the cerebral spinal fluid.

Microcephaly is a condition where a baby's head is much smaller than normal. It is most often present at birth (congenital). Most children with microcephaly also have a small brain and an intellectual disability. Some children with small heads have normal intelligence.

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a disorder that causes weakness in muscles around the body. This happens because antibodies destroy some of the places where nerves and muscles meet. It mostly affects the eyes, mouth, throat, arms, and legs.

Is it time for your baby to have a full physical exam? Your pediatrician might want to conduct a “neuro exam.” Don’t worry, this series of tests designed to evaluate your child’s nervous system is painless. Here’s what it entails.

Neurocutaneous syndromes are disorders that affect the brain, spinal cord, organs, skin, and bones. The diseases are lifelong conditions that can cause tumors to grow in these areas. They can also cause other problems such as hearing loss, seizures, and developmental problems.

Detailed information on the most common neurological disorders in the newborn

Detailed information on the most common neuromuscular disorders in children

The most common symptoms of nervous system disorders in children include delays in developmental milestones, an increase or lack of growth in head size, and a lack of coordination.

Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is a softening of white brain tissue near the ventricles. The ventricles are fluid-filled chambers in the brain.

Reye syndrome is a rare but very serious illness that causes brain swelling and liver damage. It can also affect all of the body’s organs.

Epilepsy is a brain condition that causes a child to have seizures. It is one of the most common disorders of the nervous system.

Detailed information on neurological disorders in children

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a disease of the nerves and muscles caused by certain genes. It causes muscle wasting and weakness.

A spinal tap (lumbar puncture) is a test that checks the health of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF is a fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The test also measures the pressure in the spinal canal.

Detailed information on neurological trauma in children

A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue in the brain. The brain is part of the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS also includes the spinal cord.

A baby with hydrocephalus has extra fluid around the brain. This fluid is called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Too much CSF can increase the pressure in your baby’s head. This causes the bones in your baby’s skull to expand and separate. The baby's head may look larger than normal.

Meningitis is most often caused by a bacterial or viral infection that moves into the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF).

Muscular dystrophy (MD) is an inherited (genetic) disorder of the muscles. It is called a neuromuscular disease. There are several types. Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) is a rare type.

Spina bifida is a birth defect that causes problems with the spine, spinal cord, and the surrounding nerves.

A Chiari II malformation is present at birth. With this condition, 2 parts of the brain at the back of the skull bulge through a normal opening in the skull where it joins the spinal canal.

A Chiari malformation (CM) is a problem with how the brain sits in the skull. The brain normally sits fully inside the skull. With a Chiari malformation, the lower part of the brain (cerebellum) dips down through a normal opening (foramen magnum) at the bottom of the skull. In some cases, more brain tissue also dips down through this opening.

A ketogenic diet is a special type of diet that causes the body to make ketones. The diet is very high in fat, and very low in carbohydrates. It includes enough protein to help your child grow.

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