FOCUS ON: White matter

The white matter is the part of the brain and spinal cord which contains nerve fibers. It is often juxtaposed to the gray matter, which instead contains the bodies of the neuronal cells. If we imagine the brain as a set of many little computers connected to the same network, the gray matter would be […]

Preterm birth and assistance in school age children

“Special educational needs” is a term used to describe learning difficulties or disabilities that make learning more difficult than the majority of children of the same age. Therefore, children with “special educational needs” require more support than that generally provided to the other students of the same age. In the Italian language and school reality […]

The transfontanellar ultrasound

Today we will discuss a topic that goes beyond the MRI, but that just like the MRI, allows us to “spy” inside the newborn head: the transfontanellar ultrasound. How does it work? During the exam a probe sends ultrasounds inside the newborn head, which reflect on the patterns found and are transmitted back from the […]

Anatomy of the Subependymal veins in the preterm newborns

conseguenze vene subependimali neonati pretermine

Below a summary and comment of the article reproduced in full version at the following link. Risk factors and research of Intraventricular Brain Hemorrhages The intraventricular brain hemorrage and the germinative matrix hemorrage (IVH and GMH) are among the main complications of prematurity with consequences such as death or neurological sequelae. As of today, different […]

Looking for Vision: Why talk about newborn vision?

It is a fundamental sensory function, present from birth. The newborn possesses a wide range of well-defined visual abilities: for example, he is capable to fixate and follow a target from the very first hours of life. This is true also for premature babies, that show an appreciable visual ability since the 31st week of […]

Looking for Vision 2 – The visual skills of the premature newborn

Prematurity impacts 7-10% of the newborn population and depicts a different reality between each newborn. A newborn is considered premature if born at less than 37 weeks gestation. Today, thanks to perinatal care, Life Expectancy begins at 23 weeks gestation. How can a premature baby see? Different studies have thought to investigate this fascinating subject.In […]

The respiratory pause in the small premature baby… how long it is!

Is it normal that such a small creature experiences long respiratory pause? Are we sure this doesn’t cause discomfort? Will it cause any problems? Will the baby have enough oxygen? Most of the times we can rest assured, but these doubts, at least initially, can cause anxiety in the parents and sometimes even doctors because […]

Alberto’s extraordinary story

Alberto was born on February 12, 2019, in the United States from a healthy full-term pregnancy and uncomplicated delivery. But at only 2 weeks of life, after 10 perfect days at home with us, his health deteriorated unexpectedly and, after a CT Scan was performed at the Emergency Room, he was diagnosed with Cerebral Venous […]

The first adventure

Each of us has a guardian angel. Some believe, some don’t. I am convinced that my guardian angel lives very close to me. The hard work we carry out every day within such an uncertain field as is mod- ern neonatology sometimes reaches beyond what our deep knowledge, skills, and talents actually are. We continuously […]


It has mysterious functions (partly). It lives in the darkness, in the posterior cranial fossa. It turns on, hidden behind the great cerebral emispheres. It is also called forward controller. It has a wonderful power: it checks beforehand what the brain is going to do. The Latins named it cerebellum.  We celebrate it with a video, during […]

Kernicterus: is the globus pallidus still pale?

Kernicterus is a neurological syndrome secondary to bilirubin’s deposition at basal nuclei and cranial nerves nuclei, due to neonatal icterus. Let’s start from the beginning: what is the icterus? Icterus is a skin or other tissues’ yellow coloration, caused by bilirubin’s accumulation, derived from hemoglobin contained in red blood cells. The newborn has a bilirubin’s increased […]

Andrea’s Story

Andrea was born in Genova at Gaslini Hospital in August 2016, at 25 week and 5 days of gestational age, after a troubleless pregnancy. Doctors told us that prognosis was unpredictable and he would be hospitalized for a long time. So his battle starts: After 2 day the first new: second grade intraventricular hemorrhage. It […]

The Functional assesment

The global functional assessment is needed just to take stock of the situation and
answers to questions: is everything allright ? Could we do something else for our
child ? Should we contact a specialist ? Should we register him for kindergarten ?
In short, it tells us what stage that particular child has achieved, considering his age,
about every area concerning the cognition and psychomotor development.
To do so, we refer to a last generation development scale: Griffiths III

The great journey of neurons

A very interesting phenomenon of the very first cerebral development is the neuronal migration’s process. What germinative matrix is and what external granulation layer is? why an hemorrhage can happen?

Stimulate to grow

The hospitalization in Neonatal Intensive Care could include not very adequate sensory stimuli. These
sensory experiences interact with the newborn’s would-be typical psychomotor development.
Consequences could be suffered, moreover, by the process of “connectivity”, indeed all those connections
between neurons which allow brain’s functions.
From that comes the necessity to intervene already during hospital period to give a positive sensory
stimulation, like the Kangaroo Care ( newborn is put over mother’s belly, with head on the breast, just to
help breast-feeding, sensory inputs of multiple nature and the bond between child and parent ), the
Handling ( holding the little preterm baby in hands ) the Piomi method (a series of oral and perioral
sensorimotor stimulations which aim to optimize the feeding of the newborn ); all these positive inputs also
reduce negative ones’ range and effects.
With these concepts in mind it is possible to aim to a NIC’s continuous innovation supporting newborn’s
psychomotor development in short and in long term.

FOCUS ON: The Cerebellum

Il cervelletto, il grande controllore, che corregge i movimenti initinere e ci premette di procedere passo passo senza perdere l’equilibrio.
I principali problemi che si riscontrano quando il cervelletto è danneggiato sono l’Ipotonia cerebellare; L’asinergia cerebellare; la dismetria cerebellare; l’adiadococinesia; la discronometria e il tremore intenzionale.

Oxidative Stress

Here below the summary of a study you can find here in its full version. Premature babies’ brain is highly vulnerable, and safeguarding it at best is one of modern medicine’s goals. It could appear odd, but even simple exposure to oxygen-rich air, if done too early, could be dangerous. Inside the womb we were […]