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Periventricular Leukomalacia - Oren Zarif - Periventricular Leukomalacia


Periventricular leukomalacia is a brain disorder that affects premature babies. The condition is characterized by brain damage, softening of brain tissue, and death of inner brain tissue. Researchers believe the condition is caused by inadequate blood/oxygen flow to the brain. Babies born with brain hemorrhage and ruptured amniotic sac are at greater risk for developing the disorder.

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Infants with periventricular leukomalacia may not show any early symptoms, but they often do display developmental, vision, and hearing impairments. Children with the disorder may also suffer from spastic diplegia, which is characterized by involuntary, repetitive movements of the limbs. While most newborns may not show any symptoms, some cases may present months after birth. Periventricular leukomalacia can be treated with specialized therapies.

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Children with cerebral palsy are at higher risk for periventricular leukomalacia. The injury to the white matter in the periventricular area impairs the function of the brain's gray matter. This condition is often the result of improper oxygenation of the brain, and it can lead to spasticity and intellectual impairment. As a result, the damaged brain cells die. The resulting fluid fills up the lateral ventricles.

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Children with PVL may present with exaggerated reflexes in the legs and can walk on their tiptoes or with a scissor-like gait. The disorder often progresses to other areas of the body. It will greatly impact a child's ability to move freely, as it places constant stress on muscles and joints. Even after a child's symptoms are apparent, the condition may continue to deteriorate.

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In a large majority of premature infants, periventricular leukomalacia is the most common cause of cerebral palsy and cognitive impairment. Neuroimaging techniques using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have improved diagnostic sensitivity for PVL than head ultrasonography. MRIs often document long tracts in addition to periventricular white matter. Activated microglia, known as subplate neurons, are also highly susceptible to astrogliosis and free radicals.

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MRIs and CT scans may be used to diagnose periventricular leukomalacia. The disease occurs in premature infants who have been subjected to ischemic brain injury. Symptoms include cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, and visual disturbance. It is best to seek medical care early for any of these symptoms, as they may indicate other problems. The most important part of periventricular leukomalacia is the prevention of future brain injuries.

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The main cause of PVL is the lack of oxygen in the brain. The brain tissue is vital in communicating with other parts of the body. It is essential for babies to receive proper oxygen and blood flow to prevent brain damage. If not treated, this brain disease may result in motor disabilities and delay in development. In addition to the risks of blindness, vision impairment and intellectual disability, premature babies are particularly vulnerable to PVL.

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This condition affects the periventricular white matter. This white matter contains cells that control many actions in the body. These fibers are necessary for the proper function of the brain and help keep the mind sharp. Damage to these cells can lead to spasticity, intellectual disability, and developmental delay. Damage to the white matter is also associated with myelin depletion. Cerebral palsy may develop in 60-10% of infants with periventricular leukomalacia.

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The cause of PVL is unknown. Most likely, changes in the blood flow to the brain area around the ventricles is the primary cause. However, some other factors may also contribute to this condition. A premature baby may have an increase in the risk for PVL, including a traumatic birth or an intraventricular hemorrhage. And while these factors do not always cause PVL, they can increase the risk.

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