Pediatric Neurological Disorders in Newborns

Pediatric Neurological Disorders in Newborns



Neurological disorders in newborns affect the brain, spine and the nerves. There are several causes and types.

Expanded overview

Neurological disorders are diseases of the brain, spine and the nerves that connect them. Several factors can cause a neurological disorder to occur in a newborn, including genetics (passed down from parents to child), prematurity (born early) or difficulties during the baby’s delivery.


Some causes of neurological disorders in newborns are:

  • Asphyxia – The newborn was deprived of oxygen before, during or after birth.
  • Cerebrovascular malformations – When an area of the brain has not formed properly during development, a neurological problem can result.
  • Hemorrhage – Bleeding in the brain can range in severity depending on its cause.
  • Hydrocephalus – Fluid buildup within the newborn’s brain can cause a neurological problem.


The most common types of neurological disorders seen in newborns include:

  • Neural tube defects – Such injuries impact the baby’s spinal cord and brain, which can cause conditions like spina bifida.
  • Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) – Usually associated with premature birth, difficult birth or infection in the womb, this injury occurs when the white tissue of the brain dies or is somehow damaged.
  • Seizures – Can range in severity depending on their cause.
  • Epilepsy A disorder that causes seizures.


While symptoms vary according to the specific neurological disorder, they can include:

  • Developmental delays
  • Difficulty with physical mobility and flexibility

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