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Infectious Etiologies of Cerebral Palsy

  • Neil Rellosa
Living reference work entry

Abstract

Infection occurring during the prenatal, perinatal, and early postnatal periods of life can cause cerebral palsy (CP). Gestational age may be an associated risk factor, but both preterm and term infants can be affected. Injury to the brain causing CP can be the result of both direct and secondary pathogenesis from infectious etiologies. Direct infection of the central nervous system, damaging immune-mediated inflammatory response to maternal or congenital infection, or sequelae from infection such as hypoxic-ischemic events can all lead to insult to the brain. Pathogens causing these CP-related congenital infections can vary but are usually neurotropic viruses including cytomegalovirus (CMV). Maternal bacterial infections such as chorioamnionitis or urinary tract infection and neonatal bacterial infections such as sepsis and meningitis have been associated with CP and may correlate with specific subtypes of CP. Distinct clinical manifestations and stigmata can help identify these infections, in addition to diagnostics such as serology and molecular testing. However, treatments and therapies can be limited and toxic and may have little direct effect on the development of CP and its long-term outcomes.

Keywords

Congenital infection Cytomegalovirus Perinatal transmission Periventricular leukomalacia Herpes simplex virus 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for ChildrenWilmingtonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Steven Bachrach
    • 1
  1. 1.Al duPont Hospital for ChildrenWilmingtonUSA

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