If you have seizures or are the parent of a child who has seizures, then…
Neurological disorders are disorders that impact the brain, spinal cord, or nerves. They can be structural, biochemical, or electrical in nature. Neurological disorders can create a range of symptoms, which can be present all of the time, most of the time, some of the time, or rarely. The symptoms can overlap with symptoms of other illnesses or conditions, which can make it difficult to diagnose.
Some of the most common neurological disorders include:
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Lou Gehrig’s Disease
- Alzheimer’s and Dementia
- Traumatic Brain Injury
While those may be the most common neurological disorders, many of them are age-related, or at least do not typically onset until later in life. Children are unlikely to experience dementia, Parkinson’s Disease or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Instead, they are more likely to experience some congenital neurological disorders such as Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, or Hydrocephalus.
Neurological disorders not only refer to things we think of as illnesses, but also to anytime the brain and nervous system function outside of the norm. Some other conditions that fall under neurological disorders include:
- Learning disabilities
- Intellectual disabilities
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD and ADHD)
Neurological disorders can range from inconvenient to life threatening. Some can be treated, while others may require more of a behavioral approach to help the child thrive.
In young children, it can be difficult to detect neurological abnormalities. Some warning signs to look for include:
- Floppy Baby Syndrome
- Abnormal Muscle Tone at Birth
- Unresponsive Episodes
As children grow, failure to meet developmental milestones, including speech and motor skills is another warning sign. Frequent headaches are another warning sign, though many parents may not recognize the headaches until a child has developed sufficient language to describe them. In young children, periods of inactivity, sensitivity to light and noise, and nausea may be signs of an underlying headache disorder.
If you suspect your child has a neurological disorder, you want to have them seen by a pediatric neurologist. The neurologist will perform testing to either confirm or rule out neurological disorders. Armed with that information, you can work with doctors to develop the most appropriate treatment protocol for your child.