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Neuro disorders in children are on the rise than observed in the previous decade. This is mainly due to increased awareness and availability of better medical facilities, especially in urban areas. According to a large population-based study, the prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders is 9.2% in age group 2-6 years and 13.6% in 6-9 years.

According to Dr Rajni Farmania, DM Pediatric Neurology, Senior Consultant Pediatric Neurology, BLK-MAX Hospital, New Delhi, the disorders in children mostly include childhood epilepsy, developmental delay, cerebral palsy, neurodevelopmental disorders like Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD), childhood migraine,  neuroinfectious and autoimmune disorders.

The reasons for most disorders are multifactorial. Genetic predisposition and environmental risk factors together play an important role in causing neurological disorders. There is a huge improvement in diagnostic tests which provide insights into the infectious, immune and genetic etiologies. This has led the way to the detection of many genetic disorders even in pregnancies. Early detection plays a very big role in preventing the birth of kids with genetic disorders. 

How to detect and prevent neuro disorders early?

Prenatal measures ( measures before birth of a baby)

. Detailed evaluation and genetic counselling of a family with any children with prior genetic disorders or any



neuro disorders. Evaluation by genetic testing in individual cases as required.
. Antenatal check-ups of every mother by a doctor and early referral of high-risk pregnancies.
. Proper nutrition of mothers and appropriate management of any illness 
. Compulsory institutional deliveries at a hospital along with good neonatal care for high-risk babies.

Postnatal measures:

. Newborn screening of many hormonal, metabolic and genetic disorders in all neonates.
. Compulsory hearing evaluation of all newborn babies would prevent children with speech delay.
. Providing good nutrition and prevention of infections by vaccination.
. Regular visits to a doctor, ideally a paediatrician in children less than 3 years for screening any chronic disorders and the neurodevelopmental disorder is advisable.
. Avoidance of screen exposure in children less than two years will go a long way in preventing neurodevelopmental disorders
. Lifestyle changes: Diet, sleep and exercise guidance in children will prevent many neurological disorders like migraine, seizures ( due to cysts in the brain), developmental delay (hypothyroidism) and behavioural disorders ( poor concentration, anxiety).
. Avoidance of head trauma by appropriate care of toddlers would avoid permanent brain injuries and disabilities. 
. Early referral to a specialist/ superspecialist for early detection as soon as a child shows any early features. 
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