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NeuroepidemiologyFrom principles to practice$
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Lorene M. Nelson, Caroline M. Tanner, Stephen Van Den Eeden, and Valarie M. McGuire

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195133790

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195133790.001.0001

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Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

(p.360) 15 Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

Lorene M. Nelson

Caroline M. Tanner

Stephen K. Van Den Eeden

Valerie M. McGuire

Oxford University Press

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

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