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Diseases & Conditions : High-Risk Newborn

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Disorders of the Brain and Nervous System

Occasionally, neurological or brain disorders may occur in newborn babies. Premature babies (born before 37 weeks gestation) are especially at risk. Neurological complications may result from birth trauma, a difficult delivery, or when the baby takes in too little oxygen during the birth process.

The most common types of neurological problems in newborn babies include the following:

  • Intraventricular hemorrhage - bleeding inside or around the ventricles, the spaces in the brain containing the cerebrospinal fluid. This is more common in premature babies.

  • Periventricular leukomalacia - damage and softening of the white matter, the inner part of the brain that transmits information between the nerve cells and the spinal cord. This is also more common in premature babies.

Neurological disorders may be serious. Severe bleeding or tissue damage in the brain can destroy brain cells and cause long-term illness for the baby.

Listed in the directory below is some additional information regarding disorders of the brain and nervous system, for which we have provided a brief overview.

Intraventricular Hemorrhage

Periventricular Leukomalacia