Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genes play key role in brain injury risk for premature babies

Date:
May 19, 2014
Source:
University of Edinburgh
Summary:
Premature babies' risk of brain injury is influenced by their genes, a new study suggests. Researchers have identified a link between injury to the developing brain and common variation in genes associated with schizophrenia and the metabolism of fat. The study builds on previous research, which has shown that being born prematurely -- before 37 weeks -- is a leading cause of learning and behavioral difficulties in childhood.

Premature babies' risk of brain injury is influenced by their genes, a new study suggests.

Researchers have identified a link between injury to the developing brain and common variation in genes associated with schizophrenia and the metabolism of fat.

The study builds on previous research, which has shown that being born prematurely -- before 37 weeks -- is a leading cause of learning and behavioral difficulties in childhood.

Around half of infants weighing less than 1500g at birth go on to experience difficulties in learning and attention at school age.

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh, Imperial College London and King's College London studied genetic samples and MRI scans of more than 80 premature infants at the time of discharge from hospital.

The tests and scans revealed that variation in the genetic code of genes known as ARVCF and FADS2 influenced the risk of brain injury on MRI in the babies.

Researchers say that future studies could look at how changes in these genes may bring about this risk of -- or resilience -- to brain injury.

Premature births account for 10 per cent of all births worldwide, according to experts.

Earlier research has shown that being born preterm is closely related to abnormal brain development and poor neurodevelopmental outcome.

However, scientists say that they do not fully understand the processes that lead to these problems in some infants.

Dr James Boardman, scientific director of the Jennifer Brown Research Laboratory at the Medical Research Council Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Edinburgh, said: "Environmental factors such as degree of prematurity at birth and infection play a part, but, as our study has found, they are not the whole story and genetic factors have a role in conferring risk or resilience.

"We hope that our findings will lead to new understanding about the mechanisms that lead to brain injury and ultimately new neuroprotective treatment strategies for preterm babies."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. J. P. Boardman, A. Walley, G. Ball, P. Takousis, M. L. Krishnan, L. Hughes-Carre, P. Aljabar, A. Serag, C. King, N. Merchant, L. Srinivasan, P. Froguel, J. Hajnal, D. Rueckert, S. Counsell, A. D. Edwards. Common Genetic Variants and Risk of Brain Injury After Preterm Birth. PEDIATRICS, 2014; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2013-3011

Cite This Page:

University of Edinburgh. "Genes play key role in brain injury risk for premature babies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140519110312.htm>.
University of Edinburgh. (2014, May 19). Genes play key role in brain injury risk for premature babies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140519110312.htm
University of Edinburgh. "Genes play key role in brain injury risk for premature babies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140519110312.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
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