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 23, 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 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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