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Neonatal jaundice is the yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes due to elevated bilirubin levels in the bloodstream of a newborn. Bilirubin is a byproduct of the breakdown of red blood cells. Jaundiced infants are unable to process bilirubin at a normal rate or they have an abnormally high amount of bilirubin in their bloodstream, resulting in a buildup of the yellow colored bilirubin. That build up is called hyperbilirubinemia and is the cause of jaundice. Jaundice can lead to kernicterus, a rare neurological disorder that results in hearing loss, permanent brain damage, and sometimes death. Research into the causes of jaundice and kernicterus began in the late eighteenth century in Paris, France. By the middle of the twentieth century, scientists developed treatments for jaundice that successfully treated infants afflicted with the condition, phototherapy and blood exchange transfusion, due to these treatments, the risk for an infant in developing kernicterus is very low.