Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pre-term labor problem: Using blue light to slow, prevent preterm labor

Date:
February 5, 2014
Source:
Florida State University
Summary:
A Florida researcher is tackling a new and inventive way to slow down and perhaps prevent preterm labor. The solution? A pair of goggles. The light emitting devices could intermittently flash a blue light at a sleeping pregnant mother at risk for preterm labor. That flash of light could cause a drop in the brain hormone melatonin, which is tied to contractions.

A Florida State University researcher is tackling a new and inventive way to slow down and perhaps prevent preterm labor. The solution? A pair of goggles.

Related Articles


Specifically, Associate Professor James Olcese is developing goggles -- he's calling them light emitting devices -- that could intermittently flash a blue light at a sleeping pregnant mother at risk for preterm labor. That flash of light could cause a drop in the brain hormone melatonin, which is tied to contractions.

Ideally, the contractions would slow down or stop.

"They could simply have them on their night stand and put them on if they are feeling contractions," Olcese said.

In 2009, Olcese discovered that many women go into labor at night when melatonin is at its peak. Future research through a partnership with preterm labor patients at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital found that when women were exposed to bright light overnight, the cells associated with contractions saw a drop in melatonin levels, suppressing contractions and potentially delaying labor.

"We can use that information to develop ways of helping women either in inducing labor or, conversely, mechanisms that would prevent or slow the contractions a month or two earlier in the pregnancy," Olcese said.

Olcese patented his theory that reducing melatonin would produce better results for women at risk of preterm labor.

In the study at TMH, the patients were exposed to a computer-monitor-sized lamp shining full-spectrum light. But, that interrupted sleeping patterns and was generally uncomfortable for some participants.

So Olcese, a recent winner of a $35,000 GAP award from the university, is working to develop a pair goggles that will flash blue light -which is less likely to disturb a good night's sleep -- at the mother.

The GAP funding will be used to fund a second trial at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital and help figure out how to best deliver the blue light flashes. Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston is testing out Olcese's approach as well.

"We just have to figure out how much light and how often," he said.

Depending on how the next round of studies go, a product could be ready for market in the next few years.

Preterm birth is the birth of an infant prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one of eight infants in the United States is born prior to the 37-week mark. Thirty-five percent of infant deaths are associated with preterm labor.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Florida State University. The original article was written by Doug Carlson. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Florida State University. "Pre-term labor problem: Using blue light to slow, prevent preterm labor." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140205165543.htm>.
Florida State University. (2014, February 5). Pre-term labor problem: Using blue light to slow, prevent preterm labor. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140205165543.htm
Florida State University. "Pre-term labor problem: Using blue light to slow, prevent preterm labor." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140205165543.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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