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Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2001 Mar;1(2):175-84.

Perinatal asphyxia: timing and mechanisms of injury in neonatal encephalopathy.

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  • 1Division of Pediatrics and Neurology, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, Case Western Reserve University, 11100 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-6090, USA.


This article summarizes the recent medical literature regarding perinatal asphyxia with respect to timing and mechanisms of injury for neonates who were clinically diagnosed with an encephalopathy in the newborn period. Multiple mechanisms of injury are reviewed, including genetic vulnerability, acquired inflammatory responses, and clotting defects that can lead to ischemic-induced brain damage. Before effective treatments for fetal and neonatal brain disorders can be developed, accurate and timely diagnoses of fetal or neonatal brain injury must be achieved. Specific subsets of children can then benefit from neuroprotective strategies that can target the specific developmental aspects of brain adaptation or plasticity relative to the specific etiology and timing of injury after asphyxia.

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