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Pathogenesis, detection and treatment of perinatal brain injury

64 months
Approved budget:
Professor Alistair Gunn
Health issue:
Neurological (CNS)
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Perinatal brain injury now contributes approximately half of all cerebral palsy cases. The team played a key role in developing brain cooling, now the first established therapy for injury after low oxygen levels at term. However, hypothermia is only partially protective, is effective only in a limited window of time, and may not be suitable for preterm infants. Using animal models, we will determine the impact of several standard treatments on the preterm brain, evaluate promising new interventions to protect the brain after injury due to low oxygen, including a peptide that can block spread of brain injury, and then test ways of restoring long-term brain growth. Finally, we will use new EEG measures of brain injury, developed in our animal models, in a clinical study to test whether we can rapidly identify, after birth, premature babies who may benefit from our new treatments.