Background:Neonatal encephalopathy (NE) carries high risk for neurodevelopmental impairments. Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) reduces this risk, particularly for moderate encephalopathy (ME). Nevertheless, these infants often have subtle functional deficits, including abnormal memory function. Detection of deficits at the earliest possible time-point would allow for intervention during a period of maximal brain plasticity.Methods:Recognition memory function in 22 infants with NE treated with TH was compared to 23 healthy controls using event-related potentials (ERPs) at 2 wk of age. ERPs were recorded to mother's voice alternating with a stranger's voice to assess attentional responses (P2), novelty detection (slow wave), and discrimination between familiar and novel (difference wave). Development was tested at 12 mo using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, Third Edition (BSID-III).Results:The NE group showed similar ERP components and BSID-III scores to controls. However, infants with NE showed discrimination at midline leads (P = 0.01), whereas controls showed discrimination in the left hemisphere (P = 0.05). Normal MRI (P = 0.05) and seizure-free electroencephalogram (EEG) (P = 0.04) correlated positively with outcomes.Conclusion:Infants with NE have preserved recognition memory function after TH. The spatially different recognition memory processing after early brain injury may represent compensatory changes in the brain circuitry and reflect a benefit of TH.
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Copyright © 2016 International Pediatric Research Foundation, Inc.
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