Spectrum of common pediatric neurological disorders: A cross-sectional study from three tertiary care centres across Pakistan

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health; Medicine


Background: There is dearth of information on the spectrum of neurological disorders among children less than 18 years of age. The aim of this study is to identify the commonly presenting neurological disorders among children aged ≤ 18 years in Pakistan.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study at three tertiary care hospitals in Pakistan.
Results: A total of 17,176 children were included in our study; 61.8% were boys and 38.2% females. The most commonly presenting neurological disorder was epilepsy (36%), followed by behavior disorders (16%) and cerebral palsy (10.5%). There was significant difference between children less than 5 years and greater than 5 years age groups, with less than 5 years age group showing higher prevalence for behavioral disorders (P < 0.001), cerebral palsy (P < 0.001), infections (P = 0.014), sequalae (P < 0.001), and developmental disorders (P < 0.001). Gender-wise distribution showed epilepsy to be the most common neurological disorder among both genders, with a significant difference being reported between gender and epilepsy (P = 0.009), headache disorders (P < 0.001), neuroinflammatory disorders (P = 0.025), neurocutaneous syndromes (P < 0.001), behavioral diseases (P < 0.001), cerebral palsy (P = 0.009), and movement disorders (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: The result of this analysis helps to assess the commonly presenting neurological disorders in children. This study will help health care workers in resource-poor settings within Pakistan to be mindful of the common neurological disorders while diagnosing a child with neurological symptoms in an outpatient setting. Health care providers need to be trained to identify and treat these common conditions; however, there is still a dire need for more trained neurologists across the country.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

Pediatric Neurology