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Childhood Neurological Disorders

Childhood Neurological Disorders

Understanding, Recognising, and Addressing Pediatric Challenges

Childhood neurological disorders encompass a broad spectrum of conditions that affect the developing nervous system in children. These disorders can manifest in various ways, ranging from mild symptoms to severe impairments that affect a child’s cognitive, motor, or sensory functions. 

Childhood neurological disorders affect the central and peripheral nervous systems in children. They can be caused by genetic, environmental, or unknown causes. Typically, these disorders impact various aspects of a child’s neurological development. In order for early intervention to be effective, it is absolutely vital to understand the diverse nature of these disorders.

This blog offers a glimpse into the world of childhood neurological disorders, the common types, symptoms, and accompanying challenges faced by the child and their families.

Childhood Degenerative Neurological Disorders

Although childhood degenerative neurological disorders are relatively rare, they do pose significant challenges owing to their progressive nature. They involve the gradual deterioration of nerve cells or tissues in the nervous system, leading to a decline in function over time. Recognising the signs and symptoms of degenerative disorders early on will help in developing appropriate management strategies. Below are some of the most common childhood degenerative neurological disorders:

Batten Disease (Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis)

This is a group of disorders that causes the buildup of lipopigments in the cells. It leads to progressive neurological deterioration.

Rett Syndrome

Primarily affecting girls, this is a genetic disorder characterized by loss of fine motor skills, slowed growth, as well as cognitive and social regression.

Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD)

An inherited metabolic disorder, MLD results in the accumulation of sulfatides in the nervous system, causing neurological decline.

Niemann-Pick Disease

This refers to a group of inherited disorders that cause the buildup of lipids in cells, resulting in neurological impairment and a range of other symptoms.

Tay-Sachs Disease

An inherited disorder causing the accumulation of gangliosides in the brain, leading to neurodegeneration, particularly in infancy.

Krabbe Disease (Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy)

This is a rare genetic disorder that affects the central and peripheral nervous systems. It causes demyelination.

Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease

This is a rare X-linked genetic disorder typically characterized by abnormal myelin development in the central nervous system (CNS).

Vanishing White Matter Disease

A genetic disorder affecting the white matter of the brain, it leads to neurological deterioration exacerbated by stress or illness.

Leigh Syndrome

A severe neurological disorder that typically emerges in infancy, it is characterized by progressive loss of motor and cognitive function.

Alexander Disease

A rare genetic disorder that primarily affects the CNS, it manifests in the form of developmental delays and neurological symptoms.

Most Common Pediatric Neurological Disorders

Pediatric neurological disorders specifically target the unique neurological needs of children. Typically, these disorders arise during infancy, childhood, or adolescence, impacting cognitive, motor, or sensory functions. Early diagnosis and intervention are crucial for optimizing outcomes and improving the quality of life for affected children.

Neurological disorders in pediatrics encompass a wide range of conditions that affect the nervous system in children. These disorders can affect the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles, manifesting in various symptoms such as seizures, developmental delays, and motor impairments. At Plexus, we employ a multidisciplinary approach involving physiotherapy, occupational therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, speech and language therapy, and other therapeutic interventions that focus on improving the quality of life for affected children. 

Some of the most common pediatric neurological disorders are listed below::


Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures. It can affect children of all ages and may be caused by various factors, including genetic predisposition, brain injury, or infection.

Learn more about our Epilepsy Clinic here.

Read more about stem cell therapy for epilepsy here.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)

PDD is an umbrella term that encompasses numerous disorders, typically characterised by developmental delays in social and communication skills, restricted interests, and repetitive behaviours. 

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

The most well-known PDD is autism or autism spectrum disorder. ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is characterised by challenges in communication (difficulty with non-verbal communication and understanding of emotions), social interaction, repetitive behaviours, intense interests, adherence to routines, and sensory sensitivities.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts a child’s ability to focus, control impulses, and regulate hyperactivity.

Read more about the early signs of ADHD here.

Read more about the impact of ADHD on classroom performance.

Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

HIE is a brain injury that is caused by oxygen deprivation as well as reduced blood flow (during childbirth). It is characterised by seizures, respiratory challenges, and altered consciousness. It can lead to long-term neurological disorders, such as cognitive impairment, developmental delays, and cerebral palsy.

Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL)

PVL is a type of brain injury that most commonly affects premature infants. It is caused by damage to the white matter near the brain’s ventricles. PVL is also linked to reduced blood flow to the brain resulting in oxygen deprivation at the time of birth. Its symptoms include motor and cognitive impairment, as well as developmental delays. 

Read more about PVL here.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a group of motor disorders caused by damage to the developing brain. It results in difficulties with movement, coordination, and posture. Early intervention with physical and occupational therapy is crucial for optimizing functional abilities.

Here’s a detailed guide to cerebral palsy.

Tourette Syndrome

Tourette Syndrome is a neurological condition characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements and vocalizations known as tics. While there is no cure, various therapies and medications can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.

You can read more about other developmental disorders.

Pediatric Neurological Disorders

Below is a list some of the most common pediatric neurological disorders:

Neuroinflammatory Disorders

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack the protective covering of nerve fibers.
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome is a rare disorder where the body’s immune system attacks nerves, leading to weakness and sometimes paralysis.
  • Encephalitis is characterized by inflammation of the brain, typically caused by viral infections.
  • Transverse Myelitis is characterized by Inflammation of the spinal cord, leading to various neurological symptoms.

Neurogenetic Disorders

  • Huntington’s Disease is a progressive brain disorder that is characterized by uncontrolled movements, emotional problems, and loss of thinking ability.
  • Muscular Dystrophy is a group of genetic disorders characterized by progressive muscle weakness and degeneration.
  • Neurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form on nerve tissue.
  • Spinocerebellar Ataxia is a group of rare genetic disorders that progressively affect coordination and balance.
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia is a rare genetic disorder that is characterised by progressive neurological impairment as well as immune system dysfunction. Additionally, the presence or history of this disorder increases the risk of cancer owing to mutations in the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) gene.

Neurometabolic Disorders

  • Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a genetic disorder that impacts the body’s ability to process an amino acid called phenylalanine.
  • Gaucher Disease is a rare genetic disorder that causes the accumulation of fatty substances in cells and certain organs.
  • Wilson’s Disease is a genetic disorder that causes copper to accumulate in the liver and other organs.

Neuromuscular Disorders

  • Juvenile Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive disease affecting nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, leading to muscle weakness and loss of control. It is a neurodegenerative condition.
  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a severe form of muscular dystrophy that primarily affects boys and causes muscle degeneration.
  • Myasthenia Gravis is an autoimmune disorder that leads to muscle weakness, particularly in the face and throat.
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT) is a group of inherited disorders affecting the peripheral nerves, leading to muscle weakness and wasting.

Pediatric Neurological Disorders Symptoms

In order to facilitate early intervention and effective disorder management, it is important to understand the symptoms of pediatric neurological disorders. These symptoms vary depending on the specific disorder however, the most common ones are listed below:

  • Seizures
  • Motor impairments
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Developmental delays
  • Behavioral challenges

Childhood Disorders Clinic at Plexus

At Plexus, we empower every child to reach their full potential, regardless of their neurological differences. 

We offer tailored multidisciplinary approaches to manage the symptoms and stall the progression of childhood disorders. Our approach includes a combination of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, stem cell therapy, exposure therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), sensory integration therapy (at sensory parks), and more. 

We urge parents and caregivers of little lives to understand the symptoms, be mindful of their progress, and opt for early intervention as soon as the symptoms manifest. Remember, early diagnosis, followed by a multidisciplinary approach can do wonders for our children’s well-being and quality of life.

To know more about our Childhood Disorders Clinic, reach out to us today.

WhatsApp +91 89048 42087

Call +91 78159 64668 (Hyderabad) | +91 82299 99888 (Bangalore)


What is the most common neurologic impairment in childhood?

Childhood developmental disorders, such as ADHD and cerebral palsy are among the most common neurologic impairments in childhood.

How do I know if my child has a neurological disorder?

If your child displays any of the following symptoms, they may have a neurological condition. 

  • Seizures
  • Motor impairments
  • Cognitive impairments
  • Developmental delays
  • Behavioral challenges

Early detection and intervention can go a long way in helping a child manage their condition and lead a purposeful life.

How do neurological disorders start?

Neurological disorders can result from genetic factors, prenatal or perinatal complications, infections, trauma, or environmental influences. The onset is often during childhood, with symptoms manifesting as developmental delays, seizures, or motor impairments.

Which vitamin is best for nerve repair?

Vitamins such as B6 and B12 contribute to the overall nerve health. These vitamins support nerve function, repair, and regeneration. For children, having a well-balanced and nutrition-dense meal is critical for their overall growth and development. We recommend consulting your doctor before starting on any supplements.

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