Paediatric Neurology (also known as Child Neurology in the neurological setting) is a discipline focused on diagnosis, comprehensive management and research into diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system from fetal life to transition into adulthood. Following the publication of the European training programme in the European Paediatric Neurology Syllabus in 2002, Paediatric Neurology was accepted on the European level as a subspecialty of Paediatrics as well as of Neurology, and it was recognised by the Board of the European Union of Medical Specialties in 2003. However, formal recognition of specialties and subspecialties is a national responsibility, and training duration is variable in different countries.
Child Neurology units are present in tertiary centers (Children’s Hospitals, University Hospitals, etc), where multi-disciplinary activities are available (neurosurgery, newborn intensive care, neuroimaging, neurogenetics, metabolic disease diagnosis and care, etc) and where patients affected with complex and/or rare neurological diseases of childhood are referred. Child Neurology units are mostly embedded in Paediatric Departments; less frequently they are present in Neurological Institutes. Through major academic centres, training programmes and post-graduate research activities are conducted.
The majority of Child Neurologists practise in peripheral centers, mostly related to neurorehabilitation programs, or are involved in activities linked to the long-term care children affected with chronic diseases affecting the nervous system.
Diagnosis and management of epilepsy (and related conditions) are the most frequent activities related to Child Neurology. There are increasing demands on child neurology services for neuroimmune disorders (affecting both PNS and CNS), neurodevelopmental disorders, movement disorders and childhood neurodegeneration.
The Child Neurology SP may contribute to the educational role of EAN to pave a path to expand clinical neurology practice into selected issues.
A major aim is to integrate the Child Neurology SP within the EAN SPs activities. There are some challenges, mainly due to the small number of neurologists who are working as child neurologists, and an initial goal is to render panel activities more prominent within the EAN. Senior members from other EAN SPs (such as epilepsy, movement disorder, headache, etc) were invited to join the panel in order to improve outputs.
One major goal of future activities is to sustain the issue of Transition in Neurology. We intend to involve the Panel's colleagues to review the state-of-art of Transition in Neurology in their own countries, with the aim of harmonising objectives and methodologies (when possible), in order to improve the quality of life of the patients (and their families) at this critical period of their lives. A document on common strategies to set up transition in neurology will be produced and referred to the EAN Board.
The Panel has contributed to the Scientific Programme at EAN congresses and other EAN educational activities. It has recently organised two Focus Workshops jointly with the European Paediatric Neurology Society (at the EAN Congresses in Paris 2020 and Wien 2021). Group members, including the RRFS members, are strongly encouraged to engage in the activities promoted by the panel and to contribute to the EAN website via the Neurology Update section, as well as publishing relevant papers in peer-reviewed journals dealing with Child Neurology issues.