Our brain and spinal column are the control center of our body. If these become damaged or altered, it can affect us in a variety of ways. With modern technology, our understanding of these effects is never-ending...

Pediatric Neurological Diseases

Pediatric neurological diseases are those diseases of children that affect their nervous system which includes the brain, the spinal cord and the nerves. Since it is the nervous system that is responsible for controlling all the activities in the body, any disorder in it can produce symptoms elsewhere in the body.

Causes of pediatric neurological diseases:

There are several types of neurological diseases that affect children and they could occur due to several causes which could be any of the following:

  • Traumatic brain injuries can be a result of motor accident, brain injury which may occur due to a fall, hit or any other external force or due to a drowning experience.
  • Infections like meningitis, encephalitis, Ebola and malaria can cause certain neurological disorders.
  • Genetic can be a major cause of several pediatric neurological diseases that include anencephaly, autism, hydrocephalus, etc.
  • There are some disorders that are produced due to congenital effects that may be caused due to the mother being a drug addict or an alcoholic.
  • Environmental factors and exposure to toxic chemicals could also trigger some neurological conditions.
  • Brain tumors can affect the normal functioning of the brain and thus produce neurological symptoms.

Symptoms of Pediatric Neurological Diseases:

There are symptoms that are produced when a child is afflicted by a neurological disease and when they are observed, the child should be taken to a pediatrician for diagnosis. Some of the common symptoms that are observed with neurological diseases in children include:

  • Abnormal size of the head
  • Coordination loss
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Developmental milestone delay
  • Loss of sensation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures or tremors
  • Persistent headaches
  • Disorientation
  • Muscle convulsions or spasms
  • Memory loss

List of Pediatric Neurological Diseases:

The list of neurological diseases in children runs long and it can be broken up into groups as follows:

1. Pediatric Neurological Diseases in Newborns:

  • PVL or Periventricular Leukomalacia
  • IVH or Intraventicular hemorrhage

2. Hereditary and Congenital Neurological Diseases in Children:

  • Hydrocephalus
  • Spina Bifida Occulta
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Anencephaly
  • Chiari Malformation

3. Common Pediatric Neurological Diseases:

  • Epilepsy
  • Brain tumor
  • Hypotonia
  • Spina bifida
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Encephalopathy
  • Craniofacial abnormalities
  • Autism
  • Spasticity
  • Tremors
  • Tethered cord syndrome
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Chiari malformation
  • Spine tumor

4. Rare Pediatric Neurological Diseases:

  • Alexander Disease
  • Childhood Disintegrative Disorder or CDD
  • Krabbe Disease
  • Adrenoleukodystrophy or ALD
  • Subacute Necrotizing Encephalomyelopathy or SNEM

If any kind of abnormality is noticed in a child’s growth, both physical and mental, a pediatrician’s consultation is necessary so that the requisite diagnosis can be carried out. It should be kept in mind that common infections like meningitis and malaria should not be taken lightly as the infection can spread to the brain and cause neurological disorders. It is necessary that early diagnosis is done and the necessary medical intervention is given so as to improve the affected child’s life quality.