New Early Warning System for the Brain Development of Babies

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[Source: Science Daily]

jove

A new research technique, pioneered by Dr. Maria Angela Franceschini, will be published in JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments) on March 14th. Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School have developed a non-invasive optical measurement system to monitor neonatal brain activity via cerebral metabolism and blood flow.

Of the nearly four million children born in the United States each year, 12% are born preterm, 8% are born with low birth weight, and 1-2% of infants are at risk for death associated with respiratory distress. The result is an average infant mortality rate of 6 deaths per 1,000 live births. These statistics, though low compared to those of 50 or even 20 years ago, are troubling both to parents and to clinicians. Until recently there were no effective bedside methods to screen for brain injury or monitor injury progression that can contribute to developmental abnormalities or infant mortality. Dr. Franceschini’s new system does both.

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