Neurological Disorders of the Newborn

Topics: Neurology, Brain, Human brain, Infant, Childbirth, Nervous system / Pages: 13 (3032 words) / Published: Feb 11th, 2013
When anyone plans on having a baby, one of the first things that comes to mind is the hope that the child will be born healthy. It is a perfectly reasonable desire, but what happens when the child is born with a neurological disorder? Neurological disorders in infants are a major concern in today’s society and methods of treatment need to be developed further. This paper will discuss some of the most common neurological disorders in newborns as well as touch on some of the rarer, but just as important disorders.
Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is one of the most common neurological disorders in newborns. It is characterized by bleeding inside or around the ventricles. These are the spaces in the brain containing the cerebral spinal fluid. Intraventricular hemorrhage is most common in premature babies, especially very low birthweight babies weighing less than four pounds. 1 Experts are not clear as to why IVH occurs. Bleeding can occur because blood vessels in a premature baby 's brain are very fragile and immature and easily rupture. Babies with respiratory problems or other complications of prematurity are more likely to have IVH. The smaller and more premature the baby, the more likely IVH will occur. Nearly all IVH occurs within the first four days of life. Bleeding in the brain can put pressure on the nerve cells and damage them. Severe damage to cells can lead to brain injury. 2
The amount of bleeding varies, and IVH is often described in four levels. In the first level, bleeding occurs just in a small area of the ventricles. In the second level, bleeding also occurs inside the ventricles. Level three occurs when ventricles are enlarged by the blood, and level four is characterized by bleeding into the brain tissues around the ventricles. Levels one and two are most common, and often there are no further complications. Levels three and four are the most serious and may result in long-term brain injury to the baby. 3
There are many



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