Research on Brain Injuries in Newborns Funded by March of Dimes South Carolina Chapter
Jacki Apel, Director of Communications, March of Dimes, 803-403-8523, JApel@marchofdimes.com
Columbia, SC, May 02, 2013
For the sixth consecutive year, Lakshmi D. Katikaneni, MD, Professor, Department of Neonatology, Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, has been awarded a research grant by the March of Dimes South Carolina Chapter. Dr. Katikaneni is studying brain damage in newborns that can result from uterine infection in the mother.
Over the past 75 years, March of Dimes grantees have achieved a remarkable track record of lifesaving breakthroughs for babies. Thirteen of these researchers have won the Nobel Prize®. Today’s grantees continue to advance the treatment of babies born prematurely or with birth defects, and seek new ways to prevent these serious infant health problems.
About 5 to 10 percent of pregnant women develop a uterine infection called chorioamnionitis. This infection is a common cause of premature labor. In some cases, this infection also may cause inflammation in the baby’s brain, resulting in brain damage, cerebral palsy and intellectual disabilities. Dr. Katikaneni is studying the effectiveness of new imaging techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging, in detecting and determining the severity of brain injuries in newborns of mothers with chorioamnionitis. Current imaging techniques are inadequate for detecting brain injury in the early stages. Earlier diagnosis of brain injuries could allow for prompt treatment to prevent further brain damage and improve the outcome for the child.
Dr. Katikaneni joined the Medical University of South Carolina in 1980.
In 2013, the March of Dimes celebrates its 75th Anniversary and its ongoing work to help babies get a healthy start in life. Early research led to the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines that all babies still receive. Other breakthroughs include new treatments for premature infants and children with birth defects. About 4 million babies are born each year in the United States, and all benefit from the March of Dimes lifesaving research and education.
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide and its premier event, March for Babies, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter