Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Semin Pediatr Neurol. 2009 Dec;16(4):167-78. doi: 10.1016/j.spen.2009.09.005.

The encephalopathy of prematurity--brain injury and impaired brain development inextricably intertwined.

Author information

  • Department of Neurology, Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. joseph.volpe@childrens.harvard.edu

Abstract

The field of neonatal neurology, and specifically its focus on the premature infant, had its inception in neuropathologic studies. Since then, the development of advanced imaging techniques has guided our developing understanding of the etiology and nature of neonatal brain injury. This review promotes the concept that neonatal brain injury has serious and diverse effects on subsequent brain development, and that these effects likely are more important than simple tissue loss in determining neurologic outcome. Brain injury in the premature infant is best illustrative of this concept. This "encephalopathy of prematurity" is reviewed in the context of the remarkable array of developmental events actively proceeding during the last 16-20 weeks of human gestation. Recent insights into the brain abnormalities in survivors of preterm birth obtained by both advanced magnetic resonance imaging and neuropathologic techniques suggest that this encephalopathy is a complex amalgam of destructive and developmental disturbances. The interrelations between destructive and developmental mechanisms in the genesis of the encephalopathy are emphasized. In the future, advances in neonatal neurology will likely reiterate the dependence of this field on neuropathologic studies, including new cellular and molecular approaches in developmental neurobiology.

PMID:
19945651
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2799246
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (4)Free text

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk