Rakesh Rao, MD

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Washington University in St. Louis (WU)

Neurotrophins (NTs) play important roles in the growth and development of central and peripheral nervous systems. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is protective against apoptotic neuronal loss and exogenous administration has been shown to attenuate brain injury. We have recently shown that BDNF concentrations in preterm infants after birth correlate with factors that also influence developmental outcomes. We are currently evaluating the roles of NTs infants with post hemorrhagic ventricular dilatation (PVHD) following intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH).