Neurotoxic Treatments in the Newborn Period



Neurotoxicity is defined as the alteration of the normal nervous system activity in an unfavorable manner by endogenous or exogenous substances. Examples of such endogenous molecules include glutamate, bilirubin, nitric oxide, histamine, while alcohol or carbon monoxide represents exogenous insults. Such alterations in the neurons are sometimes not limited to functions, but also involve the anatomy, i.e. the cell structure, of the neurons. The term “neuronopathy” refers to the death (necrosis or apoptosis) of the neuronal cell, and a dead neuron cannot be replaced by new neurons. Types of neurotoxicity other than neuronopathy include axonopathy, myelinopathy, or blockade of the neurotransmission. The duration and intensity of exposure to neurotoxic insult has a significant role on the outcome of the toxic effect. Most of the neurotoxins act by impairing the voltage-dependent ion canals

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