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The Neurodevelopmental Impact of Neonatal Morphine Administration

Division of Pediatric Anesthesiology, Department of Anesthesiology, Washington University in St. Louis, One Children's Place, Suite 5S-31, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2014, 4(2), 321-334;
Received: 1 February 2014 / Revised: 1 April 2014 / Accepted: 15 April 2014 / Published: 25 April 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neurotoxicity and General Anaesthetics in the Young)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: neonate; pain; development; neurotoxicity; morphine neonate; pain; development; neurotoxicity; morphine
MDPI and ACS Style

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.

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