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Long-term Effects of Neonatal Pain on Adulthood Stress Behavior and Neuroendocrinology

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Title: Long-term Effects of Neonatal Pain on Adulthood Stress Behavior and Neuroendocrinology
Author: Vora, Aditya
Advisor: Sternberg, Wendy
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Psychology
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Running Time: 223183 bytes628 bytes
Issue Date: 2008
Abstract: Each year, thousands of premature babies are treated using neonatal care comprising of invasive noxious procedures, long term effects of which are unknown. This study utilized a rodent model to study the effects of neonatal pain on adulthood behavioral and hormonal stress response. Subjects were divided into a surgery, sham-surgery and unhandled group. At P0, subjects in the surgery group underwent laparotomy, a noxious stimuli comprising of an incision in the abdominal, subjects in the sham-surgery group underwent the same stress experiences of the surgery group including cryoanesthesia and maternal separation but did not undergo surgery, and subjects in the unhandled group were returned to mothers. Adulthood behavioral stress testing was conducted using the elevated plus maze at baseline and after induced stress. Adulthood hormonal stress response was studied by measuring levels of corticosterone in blood samples taken at baseline and fifteen, thirty and sixty minutes after exposure to a restraint stressor using a corticosterone radioimmunoassay kit. Significant behavioral effects were found in that overall subjects spent more time in the closed versus open arms of the EPM. In addition, corticosterone levels increased over time and there was a trend suggestive of an enhanced corticosterone response in the surgery group. Neonatal pain potentially influences adulthood stress behavior and neuroendocrinology which may account for differences in adulthood pain behavior seen after neonatal pain. However, studies with a greater sample size and alternate measures of EPM data need to be conducted in order to draw more conclusive results.
Subject: Newborn infants -- Surgery
Subject: Stress (Physiology)
Subject: Pain -- Physiological aspects
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Vora, Aditya. "Long-term Effects of Neonatal Pain on Adulthood Stress Behavior and Neuroendocrinology". 2008. Available electronically from

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