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New means to assess neonatal inflammatory brain injury

Journal article
Authors C. Jin
I. Londono
Carina Mallard
G. A. Lodygensky
Published in Journal of Neuroinflammation
Volume 12
ISSN 1742-2094
Publication year 2015
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Language en
Keywords Brain injury, White matter injury, MRI, ADC, Biomarker, Inflammation, white-matter injury, tumor-necrosis-factor, chronic lung-disease, birth-weight infants, extremely preterm infants, amplitude-integrated, electroencephalography, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, positron-emission-tomography, toll-like receptor-4, magnetic-resonance, Immunology, Neurosciences & Neurology
Subject categories Immunology in the medical area, Neurology


Preterm infants are especially vulnerable to infection-induced white matter injury, associated with cerebral palsy, cognitive and psychomotor impairment, and other adverse neurological outcomes. The etiology of such lesions is complex and multifactorial. Furthermore, timing and length of exposure to infection also influence neurodevelopmental outcomes. Different mechanisms have been posited to mediate the observed brain injury including microglial activation followed by subsequent release of pro-inflammatory species, glutamate-induced excitotoxicity, and vulnerability of developing oligodendrocytes to cerebral insults. The prevalence of such neurological impairments requires an urgent need for early detection and effective neuroprotective strategies. Accordingly, noninvasive methods of monitoring disease progression and therapy effectiveness are essential. While diagnostic tools using biomarkers from bodily fluids may provide useful information regarding potential risks of developing neurological diseases, the use of magnetic resonance imaging/spectroscopy has emerged as a promising candidate for such purpose. Various pharmacological agents have demonstrated protective effects in the immature brain in animal models; however, few studies have progressed to clinical trials with promising results.

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