Chapter

Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

Lorene M. Nelson, Caroline M. Tanner, Stephen K. Van Den Eeden and Valerie M. McGuire

in Neuroepidemiology

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780195133790
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199863730 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195133790.003.15
Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

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The topic of this chapter is neurodevelopmental disabilities, with discussion focused on three prototypic neurodevelopmental disorders: mental retardation, autism, and cerebral palsy. These disorders are highlighted because the epidemiologic knowledge is more advanced; however, many of the important methodologic issues apply to other neurodevelopmental disorders. The chapter discusses the particular research challenges in achieving complete case ascertainment due to the problems of case finding and case confirmation. It presents information about the prevalence of each of these disorders and temporal changes in frequency over time, as well as the possible factors contributing to increased recognition of these disorders. The chapter summarizes investigations of risk factors for each disorder, including genetic factors and possible environmental etiologies.

Keywords: neurodevelopmental disabilities; mental retardation; autism; cerebral palsy; methodologic issues; case finding; case confirmation; prevalence; genetic factors; risk factors

Chapter.  13300 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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