Developmental brain injury describes a spectrum of neurological pathologies resulting from either antenatal or perinatal injury. This includes both cognitive and motor defects that affect patients for their entire lives. Developmental brain injury can be caused by a spectrum of conditions including stroke, perinatal hypoxia-ischemia, and intracranial hemorrhage. Additional risk factors have been identified including very low birth weight, mechanical ventilation, and oxygen (O ) supplementation. In fact, infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia, an inflammatory disease associated with disrupted lung development, have been shown to have decreased cerebral white matter and decreased intracranial volumes. Thus, there appears to be a developmental link between the lung, O , and the brain that leads to proper myelination. Here, we will discuss what is currently known about the link between O and myelination and how scientists are exploring mechanisms through which supplemental O and/or lung injury can affect brain development. Consideration of a link between the diseased lung and developing brain will allow clinicians to fine tune their approaches in managing preterm lung disease in order to optimize brain health.
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