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NB: the key to understanding scientific/medical terms is to understand the roots, because the same word roots/structures are used over and over. "Kern" is Greek for "nut" or "nucleus" (from which we get the English word "kernel") and "icterus" is Greek for jaundice. The Latin "nucleus," in turn, has three scientific applications: the nucleus of the atom; the nucleus of the cell; and the nuclei of the brain, various collections of nerve bodies which can be readily identified at autopsy, or can be seen in other tissue preparations.
Likewise "polycythemia" breaks down into the Greek "poly," "many;" "cyt," "cell;" and "hem," "blood": [too] many blood cells.
So, you tell us that elevated bilirubin can cause kerniecterus, but you don't tell us what levels or duration of elevated levels of bilirubin will cause kernicterus. E.g. when do we get worried about the level???
18.104.22.168 01:52, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Incorect Isomer depicted
The image presently displayed depicts the E,E isomeric form of bilirubin, which is not the much less soluble Z,Z isomeric form of bilirubin primarily responsible for kernicterus
Blood brain barrier
This article seems to dwell too much on the so-called "immature" development of the BBB in newborns as one of the main explanations as to why kernicterus is not associated to adult incidence of the disease. I would like to point out that the BBB is fully functional in the fetus well before birth; evidence suggests no significant difference between adult and newborn permeability. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12955493 http://www.springerlink.com/content/jv3cwr6a87aqm5fp/?MUD=MP http://www.livestrong.com/article/307566-infant-development-of-the-blood-brain-barrier/ http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=blood+brain+barrier+development+timeline&oq=blood+brain+barrier+development+tim&aq=0w&aqi=q-w1&aql=&gs_l=serp.3.0.33i21.16020.21978.0.23622.214.171.124.0.0.0.148.514.0j4.4.0...0.0.oFWKZ-I14Qc&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=a026b5e33ed2fa7&biw=1366&bih=639 http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v468/n7323/full/nature09513.html http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2471140 http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v27/n9/full/nbt0909-804.html http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7452231 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7114247 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10065326 — Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 13:12, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
I fully agree with the above comment. The blood-brain barrier in the late term human fetus and newborn is not "immature". It is fully formed with patent tight junctions that restrict the movement of solutes and has all of the inward and outward transport system that are present in the adult. The explanation for increased bilirubin entry into the CNS is to do with albumin binding capacity. In some infants the metabolic pathways for processing bilirubin in the liver have not fully developed and there is an excess of bilirubin in blood. Bilirubin is lipid soluble and if it is not bound to albumin it can cross any cell membranes including the blood-brain barrier. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 11:00, 20 May 2012 (UTC)