It is now quite clear that the process of normal development of the brain is vulnerable to adverse environmental influences well beyond the teratological period of classical embryogenesis in the first trimester of human gestation [l]. This Chapter will contain a general and historical analysis of that concept. It will describe how even relatively minor adversity can sometimes affect the physical growth and development of the brain in the later part of human gestation and well into the first years of postnatal life. This is altogether apart from the better known developmental neuropathologies of damage, or lesions, which can be produced by such severely noxious events as hypoxia, hypoglycaemia and intraventicular haemorrhage.


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© Springer-Verlag London 1990

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  • John Dobbing

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