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Adolescence, brain, disease and the neurologist Volume 21, issue 2, avril-mai-juin 2009

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Pôle de psychiatrie et de neurologie, Inserm U836-9, institut de neuroscience de Grenoble, 38043 Grenoble cedex 09, France

Adolescence represents a crucial period of brain maturation involving structures devoted to cognitive and behavioural control and social skills learning. An “Adolescent Neurology” should take into account this context in order to better understand the concerns which could appear at this stage. Neurological disorders occurring during adolescence, or neuropaediatric diseases persisting at this age, could have a substantial impact on the acquisition of these abilities. Adult quality of life, as well as social and family role, is dramatically dependant on these competencies. This article briefly presents an overview of brain maturating process at adolescence, and attempts to set the scene for the meeting with the neurologist. Specific neurological disorders occurring at adolescence are presented.