Abstract: Medical management of newborn infants often necessitates recurrent painful procedures, which may alter nociceptive pathways during a critical developmental period and adversely effect neuropsychological outcomes. To mitigate the effects of repeated painful stimuli, opioid administration for peri-procedural analgesia and ICU (intensive care unit) sedation is common in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). A growing body of basic and animal evidence suggests potential long-term harm associated with neonatal opioid therapy. Morphine increases apoptosis in human microglial cells, and animal studies demonstrate long-term changes in behavior, brain function, and spatial recognition memory following morphine exposure. This comprehensive review examines existing preclinical and clinical evidence on the long-term impacts of neonatal pain and opioid therapy.
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Attarian, S.; Tran, L.C.; Moore, A.; Stanton, G.; Meyer, E.; Moore, R.P. The Neurodevelopmental Impact of Neonatal Morphine Administration. Brain Sci. 2014, 4, 321-334.
Attarian S, Tran LC, Moore A, Stanton G, Meyer E, Moore RP. The Neurodevelopmental Impact of Neonatal Morphine Administration. Brain Sciences. 2014; 4(2):321-334.
Attarian, Stephanie; Tran, Lan C.; Moore, Aimee; Stanton, George; Meyer, Eric; Moore, Robert P. 2014. "The Neurodevelopmental Impact of Neonatal Morphine Administration." Brain Sci. 4, no. 2: 321-334.