Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Premature birth and brain damage: Inflammation may play a role

Date:
April 5, 2010
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Researchers have gone some way to explaining what happens during premature births and how brain injury develops in premature babies. New findings show that inflammation in both the amniotic fluid and the baby’s brain has a role to play, new research from Sweden reveals.

Researchers have gone some way to explaining what happens during premature births and how brain injury develops in premature babies. New findings show that inflammation in both the amniotic fluid and the baby's brain has a role to play, reveals a thesis from the Sahlgrenska Academy.

One of the reasons for premature birth could be inflammation in the amniotic fluid or the placenta caused by bacteria. The infection triggers labour far earlier than expected. The study saw researchers looking at various factors linked to inflammation, known as markers, in the amniotic fluid of 83 women whose waters broke early or who went into labour prematurely, and of 15 women who had elective caesareans at full term.

"We found that the galectin-3 marker was much higher in women who were threatening preterm delivery and who had signs of infection in their amniotic fluid or placenta," says Christina Doverhag, a postgraduate student at the Department of Physiology at the Sahlgrenska Academy. "This hasn't been measured in the amniotic fluid before."

The researchers also wanted to investigate the role of free radicals in brain injury in children who were born prematurely or who suffered a lack of oxygen during birth. Free radicals damage the body's cells and are formed during inflammation, among other things.

"We studied two inflammation markers -- galectin-3 and the enzyme NADPH-oxidase -- in newborn mice. Our animal studies showed that galectin-3 can exacerbate brain injury, particularly in newborn males. In our other animal study we removed the NADPH-oxidase enzyme, and this led to greater injury and inflammation in some of the mice," says Doverhag, who draws the conclusion that both inflammation and galectin-3 play a significant role in brain damage in newborn children.

This means that some medicines under development for the treatment of stroke and brain injury in adults, and which work in part by blocking the release of free radicals and NADPH-oxidase, are unlikely to be suitable for newborns with the same symptoms. They could, in fact, result in further injury.

"On the other hand, there is a common substance that can block galectin-3 and which is about to undergo further testing in the hunt for a treatment for brain injury in newborns," says Doverhag. "That substance is lactose, also known as milk sugar."

However, further research is needed before concrete treatments become available. "We need to know more about the content of the amniotic fluid and how it affects premature birth, and about how the sex of the unborn baby affects the amniotic fluid," says Doverhag.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Premature birth and brain damage: Inflammation may play a role." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100404203205.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2010, April 5). Premature birth and brain damage: Inflammation may play a role. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100404203205.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Premature birth and brain damage: Inflammation may play a role." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100404203205.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins