Therapeutics for neonatal brain injury

University of California, San Francisco, United States
Pharmacology [?] Therapeutics (Impact Factor: 7.75). 10/2008; DOI: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2008.07.003

ABSTRACT Neonatal brain injury is an important cause of death and neurodevelopmental delay. Multiple pathways of oxidant stress, inflammation, and excitotoxicity lead to both early and late phases of cell damage and death. Therapies targeting these different pathways have shown potential in protecting the brain from ongoing injury. More recent therapies, such as growth factors, have demonstrated an ability to increase cell proliferation and repair over longer periods of time. Even though hypothermia, which decreases cerebral metabolism and possibly affects other mechanisms, may show some benefit in particular cases, no widely effective therapeutic interventions for human neonates exist. In this review, we summarize recent findings in neuroprotection and neurogenesis for the immature brain, including combination therapy to optimize repair.

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    ABSTRACT: One of the most important causes of brain injury in the neonatal period is a perinatal hypoxic-ischemic event. This devastating condition can lead to long-term neurological deficits or even death. After hypoxic-ischemic brain injury, a variety of specific cellular mechanisms are set in motion, triggering cell damage and finally producing cell death. Effective therapeutic treatments against this phenomenon are still unavailable because of complex molecular mechanisms underlying hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. After a thorough understanding of the mechanism underlying neural plasticity following hypoxic-ischemic brain injury, various neuroprotective therapies have been developed for alleviating brain injury and improving long-term outcomes. Among them, the endocannabinoid system emerges as a natural system of neuroprotection. The endocannabinoid system modulates a wide range of physiological processes in mammals and has demonstrated neuroprotective effects in different paradigms of acute brain injury, acting as a natural neuroprotectant. The aim of this review is to study the use of different therapies to induce long-term therapeutic effects after hypoxic-ischemic brain injury, and analyze the important role of the endocannabinoid system as a new neuroprotective strategy against perinatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury.
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    ABSTRACT: Hypoxic-ischemic (HI) brain injury is one of the main causes of disabilities in term-born infants. It is the result of a deprivation of oxygen and glucose in the neural tissue. As one of the most important causes of brain damage in the newborn period, the neonatal HI event is a devastating condition that can lead to long-term neurological deficits or even death. The pattern of this injury occurs in two phases, the first one is a primary energy failure related to the HI event and the second phase is an energy failure that takes place some hours later. Injuries that occur in response to these events are often manifested as severe cognitive and motor disturbances over time. Due to difficulties regarding the early diagnosis and treatment of HI injury, there is an increasing need to find effective therapies as new opportunities for the reduction of brain damage and its long term effects. Some of these therapies are focused on prevention of the production of reactive oxygen species, anti-inflammatory effects, anti-apoptotic interventions and in a later stage, the stimulation of neurotrophic properties in the neonatal brain which could be targeted to promote neuronal and oligodendrocyte regeneration.
    03/2013; 3(1):191-214. DOI:10.3390/brainsci3010191
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