Beyond Hypothermia: Alternative Therapies for Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

Andrea Hobson1, Julie Baines1, Michael D. Weiss*, 1, 2
1 Department of Pediatrics
1 McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

© 2012 Hobson et al;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Pediatrics, University of Florida, P.O. Box 100296, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA; Tel: 352-273-8985; Fax: 352-273-9054; E-mail:


Neonatal encephalopathy remains a significant cause of death and disability worldwide. Therapeutic hypothermia has become a mainstay of therapy and has demonstrated the potential for neuroprotection and repair after neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain injury. However, it has become apparent from published trials that hypothermia alone will not serve as complete protection nor benefit all neonates. The complicated cascade of events in a hypoxic-ischemic insult lends itself to multiple types of therapy, making a multi-faceted approach to treatment attractive. This review critically discusses the broad range of medical therapies currently being studied and summarizes the animal and human studies that have been done to date. Therapies that may act synergistically with cooling therapy are also discussed.

Keywords: Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.