Germinal matrix

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In anatomy, the germinal matrix is a highly cellular and highly vascularized region in the brain from which cells migrate out during brain development. The germinal matrix is the source of both neurons and glial cells and is most active between 8 and 28 weeks gestation. It is a fragile portion of the brain that may be damaged leading to an intracranial hemorrhage known as a germinal matrix hemorrhage.

Location/Anatomy: The germinal matrix is next to the lateral ventricles (the "inside" of the brain).

Function/Physiology: Neurons and glia migrate radially outward from the germinal matrix towards the cerebral cortex. For more information, see the associated articles on neuronal migration and corticogenesis.

Dysfunction/Pathophysiology: in prenatology/neonatology, intraventricular hemorrhages occur starting in the germinal matrix due to the lack of structural integrity there. Intraventricular hemorrhages are a common and harmful issue in children born prematurely.

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