Lack of oxygen to the brain at birth affects almost 200 babies in Ireland each year.
The condition, known as Hypoxic Ischematic Encephalopathy (HIE), causes brain injury due to lack of oxygen and can leave newborns with permanent neurological damage or cerebral palsy. HIE can be difficult to detect in newborns; early intervention and treatment is vital to improving outcomes and reducing the impact and severity of the brain damage.
INFANT has discovered and validated two microRNAs to detect birth-related brain injury in newborns of which there are ~ 1 million cases a year.
This breakthrough could provide an early detection system for HIE allowing for the biomarkers to be measured easily, providing a faster diagnosis at the cotside. Further studies are ongoing to understand fully the role of these microRNAS.