«Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.
The important thing is not to stop questioning.»
«Some men see things as they are and say, why.
I dream things that never were and say, why not»
George Bernard Shaw
Neonatal Brain Research
The NeoBrainLab is devoted to the understanding of the causes and consequences of brain damages in sick babies. The main goals of the lab are to develop innovative strategies to prevent or repair these brain damages, and thus to improve the future of these babies.
The laboratory uses both clinical research and basic science techniques to understand mechanisms underlying these brain damages. More specifically, we are studying the unique profile of brain damages in human babies, using advanced neuroimaging techniques and bedside monitoring, as well as detailed examination of the placentas of these children, in order to identify as early as possible the babies who will develop later brain damages. In parallel, we are also using a lab model of neonatal brain damage to study in more detail the brain damages and develop innovative treatments to prevent or repair these damages. By combining these approaches, the lab works thus on developing new treatments that could lead to decrease brain and eyes damages in sick babies who will need it the most, and thus decrease the rate of permanent neurological problems in these babies, such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, epilepsy, learning disability and blindness.
We have now started to test one of these treatments, sildenafil, to repair the damaged brain of human babies with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy through clinical trials in Canada and in Uganda.
We are hoping to improve the clinical care of sick babies in the NICU and their future outcome. We are working closely with both the NICU and the MRI teams. Some of our first steps in this direction were to implement the use of minimal or no sedation for brain MRIs of baby, to develop a MRI-compatible CPAP machine, to train staff to safely perform brain MRIs in babies requiring ventilator support, as well as to ensure maintenance of hypothermia treatment during brain MRIs in babies with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.