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Q: Terminology: Perinatal encephalopathy
 
A: This term literally means "brain damage of unknown etiology from the birth trauma" or "general weakness of the CNS due to birth trauma". This is, indeed, a "catch-all" broad term often used in Russian medical documents. It aims to indicate a child "at risk" in general: very often no specific concern is expressed. This diagnosis is given almost automatically to all premature babies and babies with low Apgar scores. It refers to a risk factor (or factors) that may predict a neurological impairment rather than real (objectively found by medical means) neurologic damage. You should be reasonably concerned, but remember that this diagnosis is almost a "standard" feature of children from orphanages. Perinatal impairment of the CNS means the same as "prenatal encephalopathy".
 

 

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