Academic Year 2023/2024 - Teacher: Agata Rita Maria POLIZZI

Expected Learning Outcomes

To know the proper terms of the discipline, the causes (genetic and multifactorial) and the management of the main diseases of the nervous system of children and adolescents in school, community, association and clinical contexts. To be updated on the main diagnostic and monitoring tools for neurological diseases. To be competent in the management of childhood neuropsychiatric conditions in multidisciplinary work contexts, especially in relation to clinical services.

Knowing how to monitor and evaluate the child's different development trajectories (motor, language, sensory, relational and behavioral) and growth, knowing how to grasp the differences between typical and atypical development of the child, between complex genetic clinical pictures and anomalous behaviors reactive to the context of life. Knowledge and competence in the psychological repercussions of the child/adolescent with chronic systemic disease and of the family or professional caregiver.

Promote effective integration between educational, social, cultural and pediatric-healthcare services.

Course Structure

Lectures at one of the departmental offices. The lectures make use of the support of slides with texts, tables, images and videos aimed at explaining pediatric physiology and pathology.

Required Prerequisites

The student must be confident with the use of basic scientific terminology

Detailed Course Content


The health of the child: protective and risk factors (growth and social disadvantage, the abused child, the immigrant child, the child of detained mothers)

Clinical history and observation of the newborn and child

Age of onset, main causes and course models of pediatric diseases

Levels of healthcare and multidisciplinary management of the child with chronic disease

Transition from adolescence to adulthood

Prevention of pediatric diseases (primary, secondary and tertiary prevention)

Newborn screening program extended in Italy

Health assessments and surveillance of the child's health

The term and premature newborn

Characteristics of the full-term newborn

Characteristics of the preterm newborn

APGAR score

Normal developmental parameters; general movements, primitive neonatal reflexes

Neonatal care for the protection of the newborn at risk

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy

Neonatal abstinence syndromes

Celiac disease

Cystic fibrosis

Pituitary diseases

Growth hormone deficiency and short stature conditions


Thyroid disorders (hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism)

Precocious and delayed puberty

Main tumors (leukemia, neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor, retinoblastoma)

Pediatric hospice and palliative care


Principle of embryology, anatomy and physiology of the central and peripheral nervous system. Correlations with the main clinical pictures of reference


Principles of genetics (genetic mutations, inheritance models, gene therapy)

Development trajectories and their evaluation

Infantile cerebral palsy

Rare diseases

Malformations of the nervous system

Febrile seizures and epilepsy

Non-epileptic paroxysmal disorders in developmental age

Headache and related disorders

Encephalitis and meningitis: definition and main clinical manifestations

Movement disorders [hypokinesia/rigidity/Parkinsonism; Korea; ballism; dystonia; tics and Tourette syndrome; tremors; myoclonus; stereotypies, PAN/PANDAS], ataxia definition

Immune-mediated diseases of the nervous system: main clinical pictures [acute disseminated encephalomyelitis/ADEM; childhood multiple sclerosis; Guillain-Barré syndrome]

Neuromuscular diseases [general principles and specific forms: spinal muscular atrophy and Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy]

Main neurocutaneous syndromes [neurofibromatosis; tuberous sclerosis]

Neurometabolic and degenerative diseases [general principles]

Enuresis: primary and secondary

Tumors of the nervous system [general principles and clinical manifestations such as warning signs]

Sleep-wake disorders

PEDIATRIC NEUROLOGY PART 2 [Cognitive and neuropsychological developmental disorders]

Intellectual disability

Development and disorders of language and speech in developmental age

Autism spectrum disorders

Genetic syndromes with behavioral phenotype (e.g. Williams syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Prader Willi syndrome, Angelman syndrome)

Rett syndrome

Down syndrome

Attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity/impulsivity

Specific learning disorders

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Textbook Information

Manuale di Pediatria. T. Lissauer, W. Carroll. Quinta Edizione. Edra

M.Ruggieri, E.Franzoni. Neurologia e Psichiatria dello sviluppo. Edra 2012

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

Oral examination

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

What are the neurodevelopment trajectories? What are the diagnostic criteria for the autism spectrum disorder? What are rare diseases? What are the main types of headaches in children? What is a behavioral phenotype?