Optimisation de la prise en charge des individus nés prématurément: mieux dépister, mieux intervenir

 

Thuy Mai Luu

Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine

 

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

Programme Chercheurs-boursiers cliniciens - Junior 2

Concours 2018-2019

In Canada, 8% of births occur prematurely before 37 weeks of gestation. Children born preterm are at higher risk of neurological sequelae that can affect the development of their motor skills, language and reasoning ability. Over the long term, adults born preterm also display higher blood pressure, problems with their vessels and heart, and chronic respiratory symptoms. They may further have reduced exercise capacity. My research aims to improve the health of individuals born preterm by better identifying problems before they have a significant impact on daily functioning and by early introduction of preventative strategies.

My first project will determine whether a supervised exercise intervention program can rescue the adverse effects of preterm birth on the heart, the vessels, the lungs and the muscles. To do so, we will evaluate young adults born before 29 weeks of gestation and term-born controls before and after a 12-week training program. We will be using innovative imaging modalities to get a better assessment of the heart and the lungs.

My second project will validate a new developmental screening protocol for infants born between 29-36 weeks of gestation that aims to identify those at the highest risk of developmental delay. By doing so, it is possible to intervene sooner than later thus improving long-term outcome. This protocol will be using bedside, non-invasive neonatal neurological monitoring techniques in the neonatal intensive care unit. Afterwards, the protocol will include a structured neurological examination and parent-completed questionnaires. We will then examine children at 2 years of age and determine whether our protocol was able to identify those with developmental delay.