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Types of Neurological Disorders in Children

Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

Some children face severe neurological disorders at a fairly young age. Some of the serious and common neurological disorders in a child can be:

  • Autism spectrum disorder;
  • Cerebral palsy;
  • Attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity;
  • Birth trauma (especially hypoxia).

Birth trauma or the mother’s pernicious lifestyle of pregnant can provoke the appearance of serious diseases in a child, the symptoms of which he will have to fight all his life. However, some neurological disorders in infants may not have a specific cause. Therefore, in some situations, it is difficult to understand why a particular neurological problem appeared in a child.

These diseases can affect the ability to walk, develop, acquire the necessary skills, and communicate with other people. In some situations, such problems may not threaten life or health. However, sometimes this can lead to the child’s death or shorten his life expectancy.

In this article, we look at these four neurological disorders in toddlers, their symptoms, causes, and how to treat or alleviate the condition.

 

1. Autism

autism in children

Autism has another name, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This disease is one of the most popular and complex baby nervous system problems. Due to this problem, it is difficult for a child to communicate and interact with society. You can notice signs of autism in a child at a fairly early age. Each child with autism may experience its manifestations differently. So, in one child, autism can be observed in a mild form, while another child’s life can be limited significantly. As a rule, such a diagnosis as an autism spectrum disorder may appear at the age of 3 years. The symptoms of this disease can be observed throughout life. Also, the onset of symptoms may vary. One child may show signs of autism in the first year of life, while another may appear in the second year. Some children with autism may learn new skills and develop them during the first few years of life, after which their development stops, and they may even lose some of the acquired skills.

Depending on the severity of the course of autism, children and adults with this diagnosis can experience problems communicating with other people for life and be hyperactive or restless. Behavior modification and monitoring the child’s condition can help him reduce symptoms as much as possible and have fewer behavioral problems in adulthood.

 

Symptoms

The symptoms of autism in children can be different. It depends on the type of autism and its degree. However, you can recognize this disease by the following symptoms:

  • Difficulties in communicating with other people;
  • Lack of interest in communicating with other people;
  • Repetitive behavior;
  • A small circle of interests.

Now, we invite you to move on to consider the causes of autism in children.

 

Causes

Scientists do not single out a specific cause of childhood autism. It is also because autism has different types, and they can have different origins. As a rule, a child can be born with autism due to genetic factors and a polluted environment. Several studies have found some genes that may relate to autism. Also, it was found that autism can be inherited. In the future, scientists will conduct more research to find the exact cause of children neurological disorders.

 

Diagnosis and Treatment

At the moment, there is no specific test or research option that would help identify autism in a child. However, a doctor may order tests and diagnostics to rule out other conditions similar to autism.

When it comes to drugs, there are no specific pills to cure autism. However, therapy with a psychologist, speech therapist consultations, and help from parents and teachers in learning and communicating with other children can help a child with such a problem. A doctor may give a child with autism pills to help reduce symptoms of autism, such as anxiety, hyperactivity, or aggression.

 

2. Cerebral Palsy (CP)

cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of neurological disorders that can be in infants affecting the brain and muscles’ interaction. Because of this problem, children can have lifelong problems with movement and be limited in their actions. As a rule, cerebral palsy is detected fairly early and occurs in about three out of a thousand children. This disease can be in the form of such types:

  • Spastic cerebral palsy. It is the most popular type of this disease. It is usually expressed in spasticity or resistance when moving the limbs.
  • Dystonic cerebral palsy. With this type of disease, the child’s movements may be uncontrollable, aimless, or rigid.
  • Ataxic cerebral palsy. With this type of paralysis, the child may experience impaired coordination of movements and damage to any body parts. So, the child may look clumsy or lose balance.

 

Symptoms

The main symptoms of cerebral palsy include:

  • Weakness or stiffness of any part of the body;
  • Delayed developmental milestones such as rolling over, sitting, crawling, walking, or talking;
  • Trembling in arms and legs;
  • Difficulty eating or drinking;
  • Small weight of the child;
  • Frequent lung infections;
  • Learning difficulties;
  • Poor concentration;
  • Behavior problems;
  • Poor hearing, vision, or speech.
  • Convulsions;
  • Scoliosis.

 

Causes

The specific cause of this disease has not yet been identified. Usually, such a disease occurs when there is abnormal development or damage to the parts of the brain responsible for movement.

As a rule, problems appear when the child is still in the womb. However, the problem may appear during childbirth or at a very young age.

The following factors can increase the risk of cerebral palsy in a child:

  • Prematurity;
  • Hemorrhage in the brain;
  • The low weight of the child at the time of his birth;
  • Body or brain infections;
  • Maternal substance abuse during pregnancy;
  • Injuries in the mother’s womb during the period of bearing a child.

 

Diagnosis and Treatment

There is no specific test or diagnostic method for detecting cerebral palsy. The doctor determines the diagnosis based on the parents’ complaints and the child’s examination. Often, the doctor will delay making a diagnosis until the child is six months old. It is because, at this age, the child grows and develops quite quickly. In the form of additional diagnostics, it can be magnetic resonance imaging or genetic and metabolic testing.

There is no definite cure for cerebral palsy. Generally, doctors can prescribe certain therapies that reduce symptoms and improve a child’s quality of life. It may include physical, behavioral, or speech therapy. The use of special body supports, walkers, and wheelchairs can help children with this problem move safely around the city and even take their first steps on their own. Certain drugs to relax the muscles may also be prescribed, or a doctor may recommend surgery.

 

3. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurological and behavioral disorders in babies. Children with ADHD find it difficult to work on tasks that require increased concentration. At school, such students are quickly distracted and can distract others from class. Also, their behavior can be described as impulsive and hyperactive. ADHD is considered a lifelong disorder, but symptoms can be significantly reduced with the right approach to problem-solving.

attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

What types of ADHD are there?

Let’s look at the main types of ADHD your child may have:

  • Inattentive. Such a child cannot concentrate on the necessary task and is constantly distracted.
  • Hyperactive. Such a child is constantly physically active, restless, and overly talkative.
  • Combined. It combines the two previous states. This type is most often encountered when making a diagnosis such as ADHD.

 

Causes

As in the previous cases, there is no one specific cause of such neurological problems in babies. Some studies suggest that this may be at the genetic level. Also, among the factors that increase the risk of ADHD in children are the following:

  • Prematurity;
  • Prenatal exposure to drugs or alcohol; 
  • Traumatic brain injury;
  • Birth trauma;
  • Difficult birth in the mother;
  • Unfavorable or polluted environment;
  • Stress and nervous tension in the mother during the period of bearing a child.

 

Symptoms

Typically, the symptoms of ADHD in children are:

  • Inability to focus on a specific task;
  • Reverie;
  • Disorganization;
  • Forgetfulness;
  • Excessive talkativeness;
  • Constant haste.

As for such baby nervous system problems, there are also no tests and special diagnostics that can accurately determine the presence of this problem. The doctor establishes the diagnosis based on the parents’ story about the child’s behavior, as well as when examining the baby.

Parents who have a child with ADHD may be recommended to change the environment, improve the situation in the family, and have family sessions with a psychologist. Also, parents and teachers should find an approach to the child and try to build the learning process so that the child is interested and not too difficult. Your doctor may also recommend certain medications, such as stimulants, non-stimulants, and other medications. However, any medication should be taken as a last resort. A better approach would be to pay attention to psychotherapy.

 

4. Perinatal Trauma

perinatal trauma

Children can get such brain injuries at the time of birth. The most common form of perinatal injury is hypoxia. It is a condition characterized by a lack of oxygen in the brain tissues, which can even lead to a respiratory arrest in a child. Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is a brain injury that can lead to some complications. Thus, HIE can affect the child’s development rate and lead to the baby’s motor impairment.

Due to brain hypoxia, a child may encounter problems such as:

  • Cerebral palsy;
  • Convulsions;
  • Behavioral disorders.

 

Causes

Let’s take a look at the most common reasons why a baby’s brain doesn’t get enough oxygen during labor:

  • Maternal smoking during pregnancy;
  • Anemia or iron deficiency in the mother;
  • Traumatic brain injury sustained during childbirth;
  • Careless handling of the fetus;
  • Umbilical cord injury;
  • Placental abruption.

 

Symptoms

Symptoms of HIE may include:

  • Pathology of the behavior of the baby;
  • Poor appetite;
  • Irritability;
  • Excessive crying;
  • Drowsiness;
  • Lethargy with great hypotension;
  • Weak or absent grasping or sucking reflexes;
  • Periodic periods of apnea.

 

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of perinatal hypoxia, as a rule, is made during childbirth or immediately after them. If HIE is suspected in a baby, the first six hours after birth becomes critical to take all necessary measures. During the exit of the child from the uterus, the oxygen level is carefully monitored, and doctors begin urgent measures to save the child at the slightest deviation.

If hypoxia is suspected in a child, neonatal hypothermia effectively saves the child and reduces the risk of complications. Hypothermia occurs as a decrease in a child’s body temperature to slow down cellular reactions in his brain while doctors administer oxygen. After oxygen begins to flow into the child’s brain, it is again warmed and restored to normal temperature.

 

Bottom Line

Thus, our article examined the main and most popular neurological problems in babies. Some of these problems may follow a person throughout his life. In other children, with proper correction, the symptoms may decrease and not create great difficulties in life. Suppose you have noticed your child’s mental or physical developmental delays, difficulties in communicating with other children, hyperactivity, or any other problems. In that case, it is essential to contact a neurologist for an examination. 

We advise you to contact our Lonestar Neurology clinic. Our team of qualified professionals helps all children and adults diagnose and treat various neurological diseases. Using the most modern equipment, we can help you or your loved ones learn about the disease, even if it is at an early stage. Sign up for a consultation at our clinic right now at this phone number: 214-619-1910.

 

FAQs

  • What is the most common childhood neurological disorder?

The most prevalent childhood neurological disease is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It can occur for various reasons, including birth trauma, a difficult mother’s pregnancy, poor environmental shutdown, previous infections, or an unfavorable family atmosphere. This problem can be either congenital or acquired due to other issues.

  • What are the top 5 neurological disorders?

The top five neurological diseases include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, migraine, multiple sclerosis, and stroke. Some of these diseases are hereditary and are usually diagnosed in old age. A healthy lifestyle and a favorable environment will help reduce the risk of these diseases.

  • Can brain scans show ADHD?

No brain imaging MRI can accurately show the presence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This diagnosis can be made only based on the stories of the child’s parents about his well-being and from the analysis of his behavior.

  • Does an MRI show autism?

There are speculations that MRI can distinguish between the brain of a child with autism and a healthy brain. However, this does not give an exact guarantee, and the scanner may be wrong.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been prepared.read more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well together.read more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your business.read more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any cookies.read more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going there.read more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my treatment.read more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to finish.read more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 stars.read more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his staff.read more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best treatment.read more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my doctor.read more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding solutions.read more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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