Brain development is a complex process of micro- and macrostructural events that include neuronal and glial proliferation and migration, myelination, and organizational development of cortical layers and circuitry. Recent progress in understanding these processes has provided insight into the pathophysiology of brain injury and alterations of cerebral development in preterm infants. A key factor of abnormalities in the preterm infant is the maturational stage of the brain at the time of birth. This review summarizes current data on normal brain development, patterns of brain injury in the preterm infant, and the associated axonal/neuronal disturbances that occur in the setting of this injury, often termed encephalopathy of prematurity.
- brain development
- brain injury