Concerns about umbilical cord clamping
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Contact: Eileen Nicole Simon
eileen4brainresearch@yahoo.com
Topics
Language
development
Evidence
versus opinion
Increased prevalence
of childhood disorders
Dependency and
need for lifelong care
Factors in need of
closer examination
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>>
The midbrain auditory nucleus, the inferior colliculus, sustained the most severe
damage in monkeys subjected to suffocation with umbilical cord clamping.  The
monkeys were not deaf, but they did not orient to sounds the way normal monkeys do
[
67, 69]
The ability to learn language "by ear" as most children do should be investigated as the
possible result of such damage to the auditory system at birth.  The most serious aspect
of pervasive developmental disorders (or autism spectrum disorders) is the language
disorder.  So much more hope can be held out for the child who learns to speak; the
child is then regarded as "high functioning."  But a pedantic, stilted, parrot-like manner of
speaking often remains as a life-long handicap; these are children who will never
become quite the person they would have been.
7.  Language development
The well-recognized ability of normal young children to learn a second language without
a foreign accent provides evidence of the importance of the auditory system for
language learning.  The brainstem auditory pathway is myelinated and functional by 29
weeks of gestation [
72, 73], whereas myelination of the temporal and frontal lobe
language circuits continues during the first decade of life [
73].  Thus, learning to speak
begins before the temporal and frontal language areas of the cortex are complete.
Learning to speak requires "hearing" the boundaries between words and syllables [74].  
The healthy human auditory system is then able to disassemble rapid streams of speech
into elemental sound components.  The rules of syntax are learned with maturation of the
cortical language areas, which appear to develop as targets of trophic growth factors
produced within nuclei of the brainstem auditory pathway [
75, 76].  Ischemic damage of
brainstem auditory nuclei at birth would then prevent normal development of the
Posted: February 27, 2006
(a work in progress)
language areas during later childhood.
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