Studying brain-cooling for birth asphyxia

March 21, 2013, University College London

In high income countries brain cooling is standard treatment for neonatal encephalopathy - unexpected, devastating brain injury due to low oxygen and blood in the baby's brain at birth. This therapy reduces mortality and disability.

Encephalopathy occurs more often in poor countries – about 400 UK babies die every year from this condition, as opposed to 1 million per year in low and middle-income countries.

However, a statistical analysis of all cooling studies in low and middle-income countries (covering 567 infants) shows no mortality reduction with cooling. The study is published in the public-access journal PLOS ONE.

Lead researcher Dr Sudhin Thayyil, of the UCL Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Institute for Women's Health, says: "Many of the studies we examined had few babies or were poorly designed. It remains unclear whether brain cooling is beneficial in low and middle-income countries."

Professor Seetha Shankaran (Director of at the Children's Hospital of Michigan) led the first study of the effects of whole body brain cooling in high-income countries (NEJM, 2005). She says: "…we need more infants evaluated in a setting in to see if cooling is beneficial."

Dr Angie Wade, senior lecturer in at the UCL Institute of Child Health, says: "Although was similar to that in high-income countries, brain cooling benefit was unproven for low and middle-income countries and more data is needed to determine whether routine clinical use is justified."

Explore further: Obesity linked to economic status in developing countries

Related Stories

Obesity linked to economic status in developing countries

July 18, 2012
(HealthDay) -- In low- and middle-income developing countries, socioeconomic status (SES) plays an important role in the development of obesity, particularly in women, according to research published online July 5 in Obesity ...

Product regulatory systems in low-and middle-income countries must be strengthened

October 23, 2012
When regulatory systems for medical products in low-and middle-income countries work, people live but when such systems fail, people die, according to experts from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) writing in this ...

Canada should play a role in addressing the global cancer epidemic: researchers

April 10, 2012
Cancer is a growing health concern in low- and middle-income countries, and there is an opportunity for Canada to make a significant contribution to help tackle the disease, states an analysis in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association ...

More research into chronic diseases urgently needed in all countries

January 29, 2013
When considering chronic (non-communicable) diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, in low-and-middle countries, a major shift in approach from declaring what needs to be done to using research to prioritise, ...

Low levels of care-seeking for newborn illness in low- and middle-income countries

March 7, 2012
In this week's PLoS Medicine, Abdullah Baqui from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA and colleagues systematically review studies describing newborn care-seeking behaviours by caregivers in low- and ...

Recommended for you

Building better tiny kidneys to test drugs and help people avoid dialysis

February 16, 2018
A free online kidney atlas built by USC researchers empowers stem cell scientists everywhere to generate more human-like tiny kidneys for testing new drugs and creating renal replacement therapies.

Expanding Hepatitis C testing to all adults is cost-effective and improves outcomes

February 16, 2018
According to a new study, screening all adults for hepatitis C (HCV) is a cost-effective way to improve clinical outcomes of HCV and identify more infected people compared to current recommendations. Using a simulation model, ...

Study suggests expanded range for emerging tick-borne disease

February 16, 2018
Human cases of Borrelia miyamotoi, a tick-borne infection with some similarities to Lyme disease, were discovered in the eastern United States less than a decade ago. Now new research led by the Yale School of Public Health ...

Flu shot only 36 percent effective, making bad year worse (Update)

February 15, 2018
The flu vaccine is doing a poor job protecting older Americans and others against the bug that's causing most illnesses.

IFN-mediated immunity to influenza A virus infection influenced by RIPK3 protein

February 15, 2018
Each year, influenza kills half a million people globally with the elderly and very young most often the victims. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 37 children have died in the United States ...

A new class of drug to treat herpes simplex virus-1 infection

February 14, 2018
For patients with the herpes simplex-1 virus (HSV-1), there are just a handful of drugs available to treat the painful condition that can affect the eyes, mouth and genitals.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.