One of the three leading causes of death in newborn babies is a condition called hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE), or perinatal asphyxia. This occurs when a baby suffers a shortage of oxygen or blood supply to the brain around the time of birth, leading to brain injury. In severe cases, 25–50 per cent of babies may die, and those who survive are at risk of disabilities like cerebral palsy, blindness and epilepsy.
One in every 200 babies is stillborn in the UK – that’s 11 every day. Losing an infant is heartbreaking for its grieving parents who struggle to accept why their child died. Babies of women with conditions such as pre-eclampsia and diabetes, and babies who grow slowly in the womb, are known to be at risk, but the causes of stillbirth are largely unexplained.
Some of the biggest names on two wheels will meet guests at a glittering, fundraising event to celebrate cycling. Professional cyclists including Chris Boardman, Sean Yates, John Herety, Sean Kelly and Nicole Cooke are set to join 400 attendees at the first Champions of CycleSport Dinner next month.Guests have paid to enjoy a fabulous champagne reception and gourmet supper with the sports stars. The evening is expected to be hosted by newsreader Dermot Murnaghan, who rode for the charity on one of its overseas tours in 2009 and again this year.
Skin is the largest human organ with massive responsibilities: regulating temperature and fluid loss and protecting against infection. It is only when something goes wrong with it that you understand its significance. Harlequin ichthyosis is an extremely severe skin disorder that affects babies, who are born with a thick, hard shell covering their bodies. Diamond-shaped plates are separated by deep cracks, which invite infection, and the thick, tight skin on the chest can restrict breathing.
Worldwide, iron deficiency is responsible for almost a million deaths a year. Recognised as one of greatest risks to human health, it is a particular concern for babies, children and pregnant women. A lack of iron is a cause of anaemia, which can lead to infection, fatigue and concentration difficulties; evidence suggests it also affects young children’s development.
It is estimated that worldwide over 1.5 million people die from diseases caused by the bacterium pneumococcus every year. Meningitis, pneumonia and septicaemia are among the serious infections that contribute to these deaths – up to one million are children under five.Antibiotics can kill the pneumococcus – although the bacteria are becoming resistant to common medication – but even those who respond to treatment can be left with lifelong disabilities.
Dedicated cyclists collect a massive amount in the best year yet for our flagship bike ride.
Unlike most teenagers, Emma Greenhouse is not looking forward to her upcoming 18th birthday. This date has been difficult since she turned eight – and had her first major epileptic seizure. Now, Emma has at least two tonic clonic seizures (convulsive seizures that involve jerking and shaking) every week despite taking five different medications.
Three in 100 children have a learning disability and 30–50 per cent of these have a psychiatric disorder, usually attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Not much was known about the cause of ADHD in children with a learning disability as they were almost always excluded from research. But the first study of its kind, funded by Action Medical Research with the generous support of The Baily Thomas Charitable Fund, has identified genetic factors associated with these cases.
Some 95 teams took part in our overnight endurance events raising a staggering £130,000. The PLOD series of events took place in June in four stunning UK locations: on the classic South Downs Way, in the Scottish Borders, in Northern Ireland’s beautiful Mourne Mountains and in the Cotswolds, which was a new route for 2010.
A lack of understanding about what starts labour and which proteins are involved in controlling contractions have hindered efforts to stop premature births. But doctors now understand more about what causes preterm delivery thanks to a project funded by Action Medical Research.Dr Joanne Lymn and her team have identified two proteins, phospholipase Cgamma and transglutaminase II, which may be important in regulating contractions. The former protein in particular was found to be specifically associated with labour.
Action Medical Research has awarded a prestigious grant to a doctor who wants to find better treatments for children with brain tumours. Dr Chris Howell has received a Research Training Fellowship for a three-year study to find what causes the malignant cancer in children under three – the most vulnerable age group.
Meningitis can be a life-threatening illness and babies and children are particularly at risk. Children who survive meningitis may face long-term problems, such as vision and hearing troubles, and learning difficulties.
Walk for Tiny Lives got off to a stomping start in Portsmouth in July. Sixteen families comprising all generations headed down to the sunny seafront to walk the 3km route in Hampshire.Participants included a network of local mums and a 15-year-old boy who was delivered prematurely on doctor’s advice as his older brother had died shortly after birth. Nathan Jones and his mum took part because they wanted to try and help other parents who had been through a similar experience. In fact, Nathan was so keen, he ran the whole way.
One in 50 children in the UK has a peanut allergy. Managing this is a daily concern; for the majority, it is a life-long battle. Eating just the slightest bit of peanut can cause breathing difficulties and many youngsters need life-saving adrenalin shots.Evidence has suggested skin contact with traces of peanut might cause the allergy but it is not fully known why the allergy develops. Your support is helping Action Medical Research to fund a project to find out more.
Leading vitamins and supplements producer ZipVit has again raised an amazing £50,000 for Action Medical Research. It donated £1 for each order received over £25 between January and March this year, which brings its six-year fundraising total to an incredible £160,000.ZipVit Managing Director Warren Bailey will present the latest cheque for £50,000 at the Champions of CycleSport Dinner in November.