Semin Neurol 2024; 44(02): 217-224
DOI: 10.1055/s-0044-1782495
Review Article

Neurological Care of Refugees and Other Forcibly Displaced Persons

1   Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
Meha Prabhu
2   Boston University Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
3   Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
Lynn Daboul
4   Mass General Brigham Neurology Residency Program, Boston, Massachusetts
Farrah J. Mateen
5   Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
› Author Affiliations


There are more than 100 million forcibly displaced persons (FDPs) in the world today, including a high number of people who experience neurologic symptoms and presentations. This review summarizes the conceptual frameworks for understanding neurological health risks and conditions across the migration journey (premigration, migration journey, and postmigration) and life span, including special attention to pediatric FDPs. The interaction with psychiatric illness is discussed, as well as the available published data on neurologic presentations in FDPs in the medical literature. A social determinant of health lens is used to provide ways in which forcible displacement can influence brain health and neurological outcomes. Priorities and future needs for the neurological care of refugees and other FDPs are suggested.

Publication History

Article published online:
18 March 2024

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