Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Include children in research to make breakthroughs in child medicine, says expert at opening of new unit

10.07.2007
Scientists will only make real breakthroughs in children's medicine if they include children in research programmes as well as adults, according to a leading paediatric expert.

Professor John Warner was speaking today at the opening of the Paediatric Research Unit, the UK's first unit solely devoted to paediatric clinical research. The unit is run by researchers from Imperial College London and St Mary's Hospital, and it is based next to the hospital's paediatric wards in Paddington.

Professor Warner, who is Chair in Paediatrics and Head of the Department of Paediatrics at Imperial College and consultant paediatrician at St Mary's Hospital, explained that researchers should be designing therapies specifically for children and their problems, rather than scaling down treatments that were created for adults. In many respects the makeup of children differs from that of adults: they have different metabolisms; their organs are not as mature as adults'; and diseases can behave differently in children's bodies.

"To create the best therapies for children we need to include them in our research," said Professor Warner. "A lot of paediatricians' work doesn't have much of a scientific evidence base and we prescribe drugs by extrapolating from what we know about adult bodies. We have a desperate need to understand precisely how children's bodies work so that we can custom-design therapies for them and their problems."

Researchers in the new unit will be investigating many areas including paediatric allergies and how these can be prevented; sleep disturbance and how this affects health and behaviour; new treatments for acute and chronic chest disorders such as bronchiolitis and asthma. They will also be looking at infectious diseases and immunisation; new treatments for neuromuscular diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy; and prevention of the complications of sickle cell disease, to name but a few.

Professor Warner said that people should be assured that all research involving children would be carried out ethically and responsibly.

"We will of course be operating to the highest ethical standards and we will go to great lengths to ensure the safety of all the children in our care. If you think something might help children but you're not certain, it is unethical not to do the research and find out. You might be depriving a child of something that could do immense good," explained Professor Warner.

The new £650,000 unit includes two outpatient consulting rooms and two ensuite inpatient rooms, with enough space for a child and their parent to sleep in and with a monitoring room between. It also has a large waiting and play area, a lung function investigation room, a laboratory, offices for staff, a reception and a treatment room.

The first studies to be conducted by the unit will be a trial looking at preventing allergies using prebiotics in high risk infants; a unique treatment for Duchenne dystrophy, which has hitherto been incurable; a study looking at the use of a helium oxygen mixture in intensive care and to treat acute bronchiolitis; and studies into the impact of various allergic problems on sleep and daytime behaviour.

The unit is funded by St. Mary's Paddington Charitable Trust and the George John and Sheilah Livanos Charitable Trust. Jane Miles, Chief Executive of St Mary's Charity, explained: "When awarding grants our focus is on innovation and excellence and this new paediatric research unit is a wonderful example of these qualities. We believe such specialised research is essential in order to develop treatments and care that meet the very specific needs of some of the sickest children across the UK."

The researchers would welcome further donations in order to buy more of the specialised equipment needed for paediatric research.

Laura Gallagher | alfa
Further information:
http://www.imperial.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>