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Professor Abraham Towbin

In 1969, Professor Abraham Towbin, M.D., reported on the results of a study he conducted at Harvard Medical School's department of neuropathology on spinal cord and brainstem injuries in newborn infants. Professor Towbin conducted autopsies on more than 2,000 newborn infants who had died shortly after birth. In his report "Latent Spinal Cord and Brainstem Injuries in Newborn Infants," Professor Towbin summarized his findings as follows:

"Spinal cord and brainstem injuries occur often during the process of birth, but frequently escape diagnosis. Respiratory depression in the neonate is a cardinal sign of such injury. In infants who survive there may be lasting neurological defects reflecting the primary injury; in some, secondary hypoxic damage to the cerebrum may ultimately be manifested as cerebral palsy."