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Handb Clin Neurol. 2013;113:1927-35. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-59565-2.00063-0.

Postnatal toxic and acquired disorders.

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Research Center, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Electronic address:


To develop and function optimally, the brain requires a balanced environment of electrolytes, amino acids, neurotransmitters, and metabolic substrates. As a consequence, organ dysfunction has the potential to induce brain disorders and toxic-metabolic encephalopathies, particularly when occurring during early stages of cerebral maturation. Induced toxicity of three different organ systems that are commonly associated with brain complications are discussed. First, thyroid hormone deficiency caused by intrinsic or extrinsic factors (e.g., environmental toxins) may induce severe adverse effects on child neurological development from reversible impairments to permanent mental retardation. Second, inadequate removal of wastes due to chronic renal failure leads to the accumulation of endogenous toxins that are harmful to brain function. In uremic pediatric patients, the brain becomes more vulnerable to exogenous substances such as aluminum, which can induce aluminum encephalopathy. Following surgical procedures, neurological troubles including focal defects and severe epileptic seizures may result from hypertensive encephalopathy combined with toxicity of immunomodulating substances, or from the delayed consequences of cardiovascular defect. Taken together, this illustrates that organ disorders clearly have an impact on child brain function in various ways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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