Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Enzyme controlling cell death paves way for treatment of brain damage in newborns

Brain damage due to birth asphyxia – where the brain is starved of oxygen around the time of delivery – is normally treated by cooling the infant, but this only helps one baby in nine. New research from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, could now pave the way for new ways of treating brain damage in newborns.

Birth asphyxia can cause irreparable brain damage and lifelong handicaps, including cerebral palsy, epilepsy and mental retardation. The brain damage evolves over a time period of hours to days after the injury. This opens up a therapeutic window where we are able to affect outcome. Birth asphyxia is normally treated by cooling the infant, which has been shown to reduce the risk of lasting problems.

Saves only one in nine
Unfortunately this therapy stops only one child in nine from suffering brain damage. Furthermore, premature babies cannot be treated in this way. In her doctoral thesis, Ylva Carlsson has therefore attempted to find a new treatment strategy that can be used not only in combination with cooling therapy but also to help children where cooling therapy is not an option.
Mapping the key enzyme
The focus is on an enzyme which controls elements of the apoptosis – cell death – associated with the brain damage.

"We’ve mapped the role this enzyme plays in the development of brain damage in newborns who suffer from birth asphyxia," says Carlsson. "The results show that a reduction in the amount of this enzyme also reduces the extent of the brain damage. Added protection is given if cooling therapy is used too."

Age affects brain damage
Based on a study of mice, Carlsson is also able to show in her thesis that the mechanisms behind brain damage vary according to the age of the brain: a treatment that can protect adults turned out to exacerbate the damage in newborns.
Tailor-made treatments
"This may mean that some drugs developed for brain damage in adults should probably not be given to newborn babies," says Carlsson. "Tailor-made treatments targeting specific brain damage mechanisms and combination treatments for children may therefore be the way forward. But first we need to look more closely at how best to control these proteins without disrupting other key functions in the growing brain."
For more information, please contact: Ylva Carlsson
Mobile: +46 (0)703 641 240

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration
25.10.2016 | eLife

nachricht Phenotype at the push of a button
25.10.2016 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>