Neurobiology of Developmental Disabilities

Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions associated with impairment of physical, communication, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms. Most of these conditions have their onset in the prenatal or perinatal period, and the resulting disorders are usually lifelong, negatively affecting daily functioning and quality of life. It has been estimated that one in six, or about 15% of children, ages 3 to 17 years, have one or more developmental disabilities. The etiology of these disorders may be related to a wide variety of causes including genetics, birth injury, or maternal exposure to infection, alcohol, environmental toxins, or medications.

The developing central nervous system is more vulnerable to injury than is the adult brain. An understanding of the short- and long-term effects of any interference with normal brain ...

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