Indexed on: 26 Sep '06Published on: 26 Sep '06Published in: Brain & Development
Varieties of neuropathological disorders are caused by a perturbation of normal developmental processes, resulting from insults by heterogeneous etiologic factors. These factors trigger the sequence of molecular, biochemical, and morphologic alterations of the brain, resulting morphologically and/or functionally abnormal brain. The resulting brain contains basic components of the normal brain but is assembled in an abnormal way. The developmental stage when the insults occur appears to largely dictate the outcome of the pathological processes. Depending on the developmental stage involved, the morphology of the brain may be grossly abnormal or is apparently normal but functionally abnormal. The brain development progresses in an orderly fashion and can be divided into several major developmental stages; the neurulation (neural tube formation), ventral induction (formation of prosencephalon), neuroepithelial cell proliferation and migration, neuroglial differentiation and establishment of neuronal circuits. The perturbation of these developmental stages results in uniquely specific pathological outcome, regardless of the etiologic factors/agents. In this review, I will briefly discuss the normal pattern of brain development and neuropathology of the representative disorders resulting from the deviation of normal developmental processes in the individual developmental stage.