The Neonatal Brain and Opioids

Preeta George, Robert Moore

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The neonatal brain, and its response to pain, stress, and opioids, has been a topic of debate for decades. Most neonates are subject to painful procedures in hospital, which may have a profound adverse impact on neurodevelopmental and psychological outcomes. Repetitive painful stimuli alter perception and response to pain resulting in the "wind-up phenomenon." The role of opiates is primarily to ameliorate adverse effects in the acute phase and mitigate the long-term sequelae of pain. Despite the benefit of analgesia, there are ongoing controversies that stem from evidence suggesting long-term adverse outcomes following the administration of opioids in neonates. Apoptosis seen in animals and human microglia cells has been attributed to morphine with a lasting impact in behavior, spatial recognition memory, and delayed response times. This chapter illustrates the response of a neonatal brain to opioids and pain, and addresses potential long-term consequences of pain and opioid therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeneral Processes and Mechanisms, Prescription Medications, Caffeine and Areca, Polydrug Misuse, Emerging Addictions and Non-Drug Addictions
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Pages476-481
Number of pages6
Volume3
ISBN (Electronic)9780128006771
ISBN (Print)9780128006344
DOIs
StatePublished - May 13 2016

Keywords

  • Chronic pain
  • Morphine
  • Neonate
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Pain

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  • Cite this

    George, P., & Moore, R. (2016). The Neonatal Brain and Opioids. In General Processes and Mechanisms, Prescription Medications, Caffeine and Areca, Polydrug Misuse, Emerging Addictions and Non-Drug Addictions (Vol. 3, pp. 476-481). Elsevier Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-800634-4.00047-0