Modeling premature brain injury and recovery

Joey Scafidi, Devon M. Fagel, Laura R. Ment, Flora M. Vaccarino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Premature birth is a growing and significant public health problem because of the large number of infants that survive with neurodevelopmental sequelae from brain injury. Recent advances in neuroimaging have shown that although some neuroanatomical structures are altered, others improve over time. This review outlines recent insights into brain structure and function in these preterm infants at school age and relevant animal models. These animal models have provided scientists with an opportunity to explore in depth the molecular and cellular mechanisms of injury as well as the potential of the brain for recovery. The endogenous potential that the brain has for neurogenesis and gliogenesis, and how environment contributes to recovery, are also outlined. These preclinical models will provide important insights into the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms responsible for variable degrees of injury and recovery, permitting the exploration of targeted therapies to facilitate recovery in the developing preterm brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)863-871
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Environmental enrichment
  • Growth factors
  • Hypoxia
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Prematurity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology


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