Neonatal Pain pp 141-147 | Cite as

From the Gate-Control Theory to Brain Programs for Neonatal Pain

  • K. J. S. Anand


Large numbers of low-birthweight (LBW) and preterm neonates are born in developed and underdeveloped countries each year [1], and many of them are extremely premature (<1500 g). For their normal, routine care it may be necessary for these infants to undergo repeated or prolonged exposure to stress, pain, and maternal separation in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). At this stage, the brain’s architecture and vasculature are very immature, and these neonates can only survive because of improved obstetric and neonatal care [1]. Despite an increasing survival rate, preterm infants develop a high prevalence of cognitive deficits, learning difficulties, and abnormal behaviors during their early childhood and primary school years. Multiple follow-up studies of ex-preterm neonates have reported neurodevelopmental deficits [2, 3, 4], with needs for special assistance [5] and increasing burdens for health care and society [6].


NMDA Receptor Preterm Neonate Maternal Separation Heel Lance Neurodevelopmental Deficit 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. J. S. Anand
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Children’s HospitalLittle Rock, ArkansasUSA

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