Stratégies individualisées pour améliorer le devenir neurologique des nouveau-nés à risque


Ala Birca-Podubnaia

Centre de recherche du CHU Sainte-Justine


Domaine : santé de la mère, des enfants et des adolescents

Programme chercheurs-boursiers cliniciens - Junior 1

Concours 2017-2018


Programme canadien IRSC de cliniciens - chercheurs en santé de l'enfant (PCCCSE)

Advances in neonatal intensive care have led to a remarkable increase in the survival of critically ill neonates. Unfortunately, much less progress has been made to prevent neurological disabilities in survivors, which impose significant medical, psychological and economic burdens. My goal is to improve outcomes in these neonates by closely following their brain activity to reveal early signs of brain damage. This will allow early intervention and reducing the extent of brain injury. To achieve this, I will use sophisticated methods of brain imaging and continuous non invasive bedside brain monitoring.

First, I will focus on the brain health of neonates who have suffered from a lack of oxygen at birth. The current standard of practice is to cool these babies immediately after birth to protect their brain. Yet, my data show that they may have worsening of their brain activity and seizures on rewarming. Hence, I will investigate the underlying causes and identify babies having a risk of complications on rewarming. The next step will be to develop a clinical trial to investigate whether optimizing rewarming duration improves their outcomes.

Secondly, I will investigate how congenital heart disease affects the brain health of neonates requiring surgery after birth. My data show that even before surgery, these neonates frequently suffer from abnormal brain activity and injury. This may increase their vulnerability to neurological complications after the surgery. I want to investigate the risk factors of these complications and their evolution in time. The next step will be to develop new strategies to protect the brain of these neonates.

This program is part of a strategic priority of CHU Sainte-Justine to develop an excellence in neuro-neonatology. It will contribute to a better brain health and quality of life of the growing population, and reduce the health care costs to society.