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Brain Sci. 2013, 3(3), 1013-1022; doi:10.3390/brainsci3031013

Neuroprotective Role of Nerve Growth Factor in Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury

Department of Pediatric Neuroscience, Catholic University of Rome, Largo A. Gemelli 8, Rome 00168, Italy
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 May 2013 / Revised: 2 June 2013 / Accepted: 7 June 2013 / Published: 25 June 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neuroprotection against Ischemic Brain Injury)
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Hypoxic-ischemic brain injuries (HIBI) in childhood are frequently associated with poor clinical and neurological outcome. Unfortunately, there is currently no effective therapy to restore neuronal loss and to determine substantial clinical improvement. Several neurotrophins, such as Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), and Glial Derived Neurotrophic Factor (GDNF), play a key role in the development, differentiation, and survival of the neurons of the peripheral and central nervous system. Experimental animal studies demonstrated their neuroprotective role in HIBI, while only a few studies examined the neuroprotective mechanisms in patients with severe HIBI. We report two cases of children with HIBI and prolonged comatose state who showed a significant improvement after intraventricular NGF administration characterized by amelioration of electroencephalogram (EEG) and cerebral perfusion at single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). The improvement in motor and cognitive functions of these children could be related to the neuroprotective role exerted by NGF in residual viable cholinergic neurons, leading to the restoration of neuronal networks in the damaged brain.
Keywords: neurotrophins; hypoxic-ischemic brain injury; neuroprotection neurotrophins; hypoxic-ischemic brain injury; neuroprotection
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Fantacci, C.; Capozzi, D.; Ferrara, P.; Chiaretti, A. Neuroprotective Role of Nerve Growth Factor in Hypoxic-Ischemic Brain Injury. Brain Sci. 2013, 3, 1013-1022.

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