Therapeutics for neonatal brain injury

Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Oct;120(1):43-53. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2008.07.003. Epub 2008 Jul 26.


Neonatal brain injury is an important cause of death and neurodevelopmental delay. Multiple pathways of oxidant stress, inflammation, and excitotoxicity lead to both early and late phases of cell damage and death. Therapies targeting these different pathways have shown potential in protecting the brain from ongoing injury. More recent therapies, such as growth factors, have demonstrated an ability to increase cell proliferation and repair over longer periods of time. Even though hypothermia, which decreases cerebral metabolism and possibly affects other mechanisms, may show some benefit in particular cases, no widely effective therapeutic interventions for human neonates exist. In this review, we summarize recent findings in neuroprotection and neurogenesis for the immature brain, including combination therapy to optimize repair.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Brain Injuries / congenital*
  • Brain Injuries / drug therapy
  • Brain Injuries / therapy*
  • Cell Death / drug effects
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia, Induced
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Pregnancy
  • Stem Cell Transplantation


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Antagonists
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins