Cerebral white matter injuries following a hypoxic/ischemic insult during the perinatal period: Pathophysiology, prognostic factors, and future strategy of treatment approach. a minireview

Christian Zammit, Richard Muscat, Gabriele Sani, Cristoforo Pomara, Mario Valentino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recent advances in medical care have significantly improved the survival rate of neonates who suffer a hypoxic/ ischemic event, before, during, or after birth. These infants are extremely vulnerable to brain injury and are at high risk of developing motor and cognitive abnormalities later on in life. The regional distribution of perinatal brain injury varies, and depends primarily on; the severity, pattern and type of insult, the metabolic status, and on the gestational age. The principal neuropathological substrate that is affected in the premature infant is cerebral white matter. The aim of this article is to re-examine the current knowledge on the ischemic pathophysiology of all cellular components that comprise the white matter, pred ict the consequences of the long-term neurological outcome, and analyze possible therapeutic strategies. Although oligodendrocytes have long been regarded as the hallmark of perinatal white matter injury, axons, astrocytes and microglia, all contribute to the complex pattern of brain injury that occurs in this cohort of individuals. It is hoped that a better understanding of the pathophysiology of white matter injury and its underlying prognostic factors, may lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies for such a complex and debilitating condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1418-1425
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Pharmaceutical Design
Volume21
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Cellular mechanism
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Perinatal ischaemia
  • Periventricular leukomalacia
  • Prognostic factors
  • Treatment approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology

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