1. Oct 16, 2020

Neurologists important in early cerebral palsy diagnosis

Despite current consensus guidelines that do not recommend referrals to specific specialists for a cerebral palsy diagnosis, new research suggests early referral to child neurologists and neurodevelopmentalists (CN/NDDs) should be considered.

In a study published in Neurology, researchers developed recommendations regarding the role of CN/NDDs involved in cerebral palsy care taking into consideration the complexity of cerebral palsy diagnosis and the views of physician stakeholders.

More than 75% of CN/NDDs felt that they should be involved in CP diagnosis, but 42% said their patients with cerebral palsy were not diagnoses by CN/NDDs, with some (18%) never receiving referrals to CN/NDDs to establish the diagnosis.

CN/NDDs believe that their knowledge of the neurologic exam across development and early identification of features atypical for CP is critical for a proper diagnosis. CN/NDDs felt that they were necessary mainly when neurologic co-existing conditions were present.  

Aravamuthan BR, Shevell M, Kim YM, et al. Role of child neurologists and neurodevelopmentalists in the diagnosis of cerebral palsy. Neurol. 2020; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011036