Early intervention and diagnosis in paediatric neurodevelopment defects in Brazil

The Academy of Medical Sciences and the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and Medicine  convened a policy workshop in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on the 29-30th November on neurodevelopmental defects in children in Brazil.

Ongoing

The trend in childhood disability has shifted over recent decades from physical and medical conditions to neurodevelopmental and behavioural disorders. Although long-term trends in paediatric neurodevelopment disorders have been difficult to track, it is widely believed that the prevalence of children with neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly autism and ADHD, is increasing.

Neurodevelopment is a complex process and disorders arise from a multitude of genetic, environmental and sociocultural factors. Thus, diagnostics and interventions are likely to vary between countries where demographics, health services and social culture all differ. The global burden of neurological disorders is underestimated and large numbers of children are now displaying neurodevelopmental disabilities.

However, research and medical progression in the field of paediatric disability is lagging and neurological services and resources are disproportionately scarce particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

The main objective of this workshop was to consider the burden of neurodevelopmental defects in children in Brazil, discuss strategies for early intervention programmes and to address the challenges facing the translation of research into paediatric healthcare.

The workshop brought together experts across Brazil, the UK and other countries to better understand the epidemiology, genetics and nature of neurodevelopment disorders in Brazil along with the latest evidence on brain neuroplasticity bringing together both human and animal models as well as basic and clinical science.  The workshop also investigated research and the future in the post-zika era in Brazil as well as current public health policies to cope with paediatric neurodevelopment defects.

A report is currently being produced and disseminated to UK and Brazilian stakeholders with key recommendations of next steps in addressing the diagnosis and early intervention of paediatric neurodevelopmental disorders in Brazil.

This workshop was funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund that aims to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries. Visit our GCRF webpage to read more about the fund.

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