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Information About Kernicterus

Autism
Avascular-Necrosis
BedWetting
Biliary Artesia
Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia
Cerebral Palsy
Colic
Craniosynostosis
Failure-to-Thrive
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Henoch Schonlein Purpura
Infantile Spasms
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
Kawasaki Disease
Kernicterus
Knock-Knees
Mandibulofacial Dysostosis
Necrotizing Enterocolitis
Reye-Syndrome
Rotavirus
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  Kernicterus
 
Kernicterus is damage to the brain centers of infants caused by jaundice. Newborn babies are often "polycythemic", meaning they have too many red blood cells. When they break down the cells, one of the by-products is bilirubin, which circulates in the blood, and causes jaundice.

In adults and older children, jaundice is harmless in and of itself. But the tissues protecting the brain (the blood-brain barrier) are immature in newborns. The bilirubin penetrates the brain, and literally stains the nerve bodies, causing irreversible damage. Depending on the level of exposure, the effects range from unnoticeable to severe brain damage.


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