Researchers in Cork make breakthrough in identifying potential for brain injury during birth 3 years ago

Researchers in Cork make breakthrough in identifying potential for brain injury during birth

Scientists in Cork have made a breakthrough that could drastically speed up doctors' responses to brain injuries at birth.

The researchers have managed to identify two indicators that a baby is suffering from a lack of oxygen to the brain.

Up to 200 babies are affected by Hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy (HIE), the medical name for a lack of oxygen to the brain at birth, in Ireland each year.

It can lead to death and severe life-long disability.

The team at INFANT (Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational) Research Centre in Cork found that levels of two biomarkers are significantly decreased in infants suffering from HIE, according to RTÉ.

Researchers in Cork make breakthrough in identifying brain injuries during birth

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The biomarkers in this case are strands of genetic code found in blood in the umbilical cord.

It is hoped that the discovery means scientists will be able to identify HIE earlier in infants.

Early intervention is crucial as brain cooling therapy can improve outcomes if it is administered in enough time.

A study last year showed that almost 90 per cent of infants who received this treatment in Ireland survived.

Birth-related brain injuries account for most of the €450 million paid out in compensation claims over the past five years, reports The Irish Times.