Brain cooling to avoid damage in newborn babies | Children's Charity

Brain cooling to avoid damage in newborn babies

This research was completed on 31 December 2003

Project LeaderProfessor J S Wyatt, FRCP, Professor R J Ordidge, PhD, Mr E B Cady, BSc and Professor D T Delpy, FRS.
LocationDepartment of Paediatrics, University College London Medical School, in conjunction with the Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering, University College London.
Grant awarded23 October 1997
Start date20 October 1997
End date31 December 2003
Grant amount£522,064.00
Grant codeSL3097

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Up to 1000 newborn babies in the UK suffer brain damage every year, due to a shortage of oxygen and blood-supply during delivery. The oxygen shortage leads to a series of destructive chemical reactions in the brain tissue. Research shows that permanent damage does not occur immediately but takes up to 48 hours to develop, suggesting that there is a short "window of opportunity" for protective treatments to be started. There is promising evidence that mild cooling of the brain may reduce or completely prevent the damage, provided it is started soon enough after birth. This team is therefore developing new forms of brain scanning to identify babies who have suffered shortage of oxygen at birth and who will benefit from cooling treatment.
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