To establish proof of concept that long-term myelination abnormalities can be objectively quantified in school-aged children with neonatal encephalopathy (NE) – therapeutic hypothermia (TH).
Birth asphyxia and resulting neonatal encephalopathy (NE) in full-term babies is a major cause of death and severe neurodevelopmental disabilities, including cerebral palsy and intellectual disability. Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) has proven effective in reducing death rates and severe neurodevelopmental disabilities and became the standard of care in Canada in the early 2010s. Nevertheless, many children with NE develop brain damage and neurodevelopmental deficits. Because these cohorts of children are only now entering elementary school, we have limited data on their outcomes at this age. In addition, the link between deficits at school age and suboptimal brain development and neonatal brain damage is unknown. This study is a first step in characterizing brain structures in 9-year-old children with NE who were treated with hypothermia at an early age. By establishing proof of concept that we can actually objectively measure brain maturation in this clinical group, this study will pave the way for a larger, multi-centric study to better anticipate the health and educational needs of these high-risk children during the elementary years and beyond.
- Professor Marie Brossard-Racine, Canada Research Chair in Brain and Child Development / Associate Professor at McGill University
- Montreal Children’s Hospital: Dr. Pia Wintermark, CHU Sainte-Justine: Dr. Anne Gallagher, Dr. Thuy Mai Luu, Dr. Elena Pinchefskly, Professor Marie-Noëlle Simard
- McGill University Health Centre - MUHC
- Neurodevelopment and mental health
- Perinatal, neonatal and obstetrics