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Neurological Disorders


Neurology refers to the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord and nerves. Neurologists often diagnose and treat muscles disorders as well. Neurological disorders are common and can range from severe life-threatening conditions like stroke, hydrocephalus and meningitis to less harmful but almost always debilitating conditions, such as migraine, epilepsy, and sleep disorders.

Depending on the type of neurological disorder, children may have difficulty with movement, speech, thinking, seeing or hearing. The symptoms of many neurological disorders appear during the early years of development and may even be diagnosed at birth. Others are diagnosed later, when symptoms appear, when a child misses developmental milestones, or as the result of an accident that causes a brain injury.

Neurological disorders include diverse sub-groups, such as:

  • Neuromuscular diseases – examples include muscular dystrophy and congenital myopathy
  • Genetic and metabolic disorders – examples include Down syndrome, leukodystrophies and Sturge-Weber syndrome
  • Developmental delay – examples include Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder and other learning disabilities
  • Traumatic brain disorders and injuries examples include epilepsy, physical trauma, injury from brain tumors and surgery or stroke

Kennedy Krieger  Institute treats a wide variety of neurological disorders varying from simple to complex. Our interdisciplinary teams provide comprehensive services with coordinated care and appointments.

Examples, Subsets and Synonyms for Neurological Disorders

  • Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD)
  • Leukodystrophy
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Lissencepahly
  • Ataxia
  • Metabolic Disorders
  • Autism Spectrum and Pervasive Developmental Disorders
  • Metabolic Myopathies
  • Barth Syndrome
  • Mitochondrial Disorders
  • Brain Injury (BI)
  • Movement Disorders
  • Brain Malformations
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Brain Tumors
  • Neurodegenerative Disorders
  • Cerebral Palsy (CP)
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI)
  • Concussion
  • Polymicrogyria
  • Congenital Myopathy
  • Rett Syndrome
  • Developmental Disorders
  • Sickle Cell Disease (SCD)
  • Down Syndrome
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Encephalitis
  • Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome
  • Epilepsy (Seizure Disorder)
  • Spina Bifida
  • Fragile X Syndrome
  • Spinal Cord Injury and Paralysis
  • Genetic Holoprosencephaly (HPE)
  • Sturge-Weber Syndrome (SWS)
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Transverse Myelitis
  • Learning Disorders (LD)
  • Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC)


For more than 40 years, Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have offered a joint Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Residency Program. Developed by the joint efforts of the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, this program provides a comprehensive, interdisciplinary training program in neurodevelopmental disabilities. For more information about professional training opportunities in the field of neurodevelopmental disabilities, please visit our training web page.

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