The most frequent brain injury for term newborns is hypoxic-ischemic injury (HIE) and for premature infants is intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) and white matter injury (WMI). There are some other kinds of brain injuries that are less common like: stroke, cystic periventricular leukomalacia (PVL).
- Evaluates your baby.
- Ensures your baby has the necessary referrals. Most common referrals include Early Steps, physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), speech therapy, neurology, ophthalmology and hearing screening.
- Provides feedback to the clinical team (your pediatrician, OT/PT/speech therapist and other consultants).
If your child had a MRI compatible with a neonatal brain injury, it’s important to act now
It is difficult to detect developmental problems in a baby. We cannot test a baby in the same way that we ask questions to school age kids or adults. Early stimulation is important for your baby, as well as early detection of subtle deviations of normal development. The earlier we detect problems, the sooner we can help the infant overcome the problem. Infant brains have a great capacity of neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s capacity to remodel, adapt and recover. Although neuroplasticity is present throughout one’s lifetime, this capacity is greater during the first months of life. In addition, the brain can compensate for lost function and maximize remaining functions. Environment and specific stimulation play a key role in neuroplasticity.
Over the first few years of life, the brain grows rapidly. As each neuron matures, it sends out multiple branches (axons, which send information out, and dendrites, which take in information), increasing the number of synaptic contacts and laying the specific connections from neuron to neuron.
At birth, each neuron in the cerebral cortex has approximately 2,500 synapses (contact with other neurons). By the time an infant is two or three years old, the number of synapses is approximately 15,000 synapses per neuron. This amount is about twice that of the average adult brain. As we age, old connections are deleted through a process called synaptic pruning. If a connection is NOT used (for example after brain injury), it will get weaker and weaker and finally deleted.
Early stimulation and therapies equals more opportunity to increase synapses, therefore, more opportunity to maximize the potential of your infant’s brain.
To obtain a copy of your medical records from UF Health Pediatrics Neonatal Brain Team Clinic, please contact 352-273-8985.
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