Neurobiology: Neurological Disorders in Children
As known, neurobiology is a science that explores the nervous system, the organization and functions of nerve cells in human brain, and how these neurological processes affect the individual’s behaviors and functioning. According to the Child Neurology Foundation (2017), “the term “neurological disorder” applies to any condition that is caused by a dysfunction in part of the brain or nervous system, resulting in physical and/or psychological symptoms.” (para. 1) As evidence shows, many neurological disorders that can occur in human life start to develop much earlier in the womb. This is because the formation of human brain starts during pregnancy period and continues through infancy stage (birth to 2 years old), childhood stage (early childhood (3 to 8 years old) and middle childhood (9-11 years old)), and adolescence phases (12 to 18 years old). Neurobiology: Neurological Disorders in Children Epilepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are considered the two common neurological disorders that occur in a child’s development and can negatively affect further individual’s life, development, and functioning. Epilepsy can influence various aspects of child’s life, learning abilities, cognitive, physical, and mental processes, social behaviors, and interaction with other people and environment. The individuals with epilepsy, especially children who have poor seizure control, experience multiple daily challenges, which negatively affect their emotional and physical health. Epilepsy disorder negatively affect almost all aspects of the individual’s life and development, which may result in poor academic achievements, low self-esteem, relationships issues, social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties. As statistics shows, after adolescence period the percentage of patients with epilepsy significantly decrease. According to Human Brain Facts (2016), “70 percent of the children with epilepsy recover from the condition as they grow older.” (para. 11) Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is another neurological condition which can occur in childhood and affect the adolescence period. Children may develop hyperactivity disorder because of certain factors that may occur during pregnancy or after birth. ADHD brings a number of difficulties and issues in a person’s life and future development. Hyperactivity disorder can make negative impact on the child’s ability to focus on certain tasks, attention and behaviors, learning abilities, cognitive and metal processes. Hyperactive disorder may affect many areas of human life, including both personal and professional spheres. Patients with ADHD often experience impulsivity and inattention, show inappropriate behaviors and disorganization, develop learning difficulties and inability to follow certain principles, rules and norms in society. Children with signs of hyperactive disorder require immediate innervations, effective therapy and medication in order to avoid negative impact later in life, which may result in poor relationships, education issues, low life quality, poor identity formation, and even career and financial problems.Neurobiology: Neurological Disorders in Children
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Spiritual disciplines make a powerful impact on neurobiology and may positively contribute to the treatment of neurological conditions, physical and psychological disorders, including anxiety, depression, emotional instability, and other mental illnesses. Religious practices and spirituality bring multiple positive effects for human physical and emotional health. Studies show that “meditation, prayer, and other related religious and spiritual practices may have significant effects on the aging brain-positive effects that may help improve memory and cognition, mood, and overall mental health.” (Newberg, 2011) Spiritual disciplines make positive impacts on neurological processes, the individual’s immune system, and cognitive abilities; improve the overall health, enhance emotional balance and stability, positively affect attention, memory process, and the overall brain functioning. Other researchers agree with Newberg’s view and conclude that spiritual practices and certain religious beliefs not only positively affect the overall emotional, mental, and physical processes, but also spiritual disciplines like “meditation results in an activation of the prefrontal cortex, activation of the thalamus and the inhibitory thalamic reticular nucleus and a resultant functional deafferentation of the parietal lobe.” (Mohandas, 2008, p.63)Neurobiology: Neurological Disorders in Children
Child Neurology Foundation (2017). What is neurological disorder? Retrieved from http://www.childneurologyfoundation.org/patients-or-caregivers/living-neurological-condition/what-is-a-neurologic-disorder/Human Brain Facts (2016).
Rare and Common Neurological Disorders in Children. Retrieved from http://humanbrainfacts.org/neurological-disorders-in-children.php
Mohandas, E. (2008). Neurobiology of Spirituality. Mens Sana Monographs, 6(1), 63–80. http://doi.org/10.4103/0973-1229.33001
Newberg, A. (2011). Spirituality and the aging brain. Generations, 35(2), 83-91.Neurobiology: Neurological Disorders in Children