Bochum’s medics have discovered a unique method to detect babies at high-risk for white matter brain damage, a prime factor causing cerebral palsy in childhood.
Head circumference determines brain damage in newborns
“The risk for white matter brain damage is increased tenfold in term-born neonates with large head circumference - despite full vitality”
Bochum’s medics have discovered a unique method to detect babies at high-risk for white matter brain damage, a prime factor causing cerebral palsy in childhood. They prospectively screened 4,725 term-born infants by cranial ultrasound, a population that usually is not examined, and revealed that a large head circumference at birth (>90th centile) increases the risk for brain damage tenfold. This clarifies a hitherto unexplained phenomenon. “For us, white matter damage in a seemingly healthy population of largely male term-born neonates appears to be the missing link between the insult that escapes diagnosis and the development of unexplained cerebral palsy in childhood", says Prof. Dr. Arne Jensen of the Campus Clinic Gynaecology at the Ruhr-University Bochum. Together with his colleague Bert Holmer, MD, he reports in the journal "Obstetrics and Gynecology International” https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ogi/2018/2120835/.
An individual cell treatment of neonatal stroke led the way
In a recent publication, a young girl presented a stroke and hemiplegia despite born fully vital at term with normal Apgar scores after an uneventful pregnancy but with large head circumference (>90th centile) and signs of severe molding of the head. “To our surprise, there was clear evidence for mechanical depression of the brain“, Prof. Arne Jensen recalls. “We then searched our a database revealing that there is excessive risk for white matter brain damage when head circumference is large and prolonged or obstructed labor occurs”.
- Open Access original publication http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/1717426
- Orphan Medicinal Product Designation for Periventricular Leukomalacia, EMA 2016 http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/index.jsp?curl=pages/medicines/human/orphans/2016/11/human_orphan_001845.jsp&mid=WC0b01ac058001d12b