March 17, 2015 – The Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center (CHU Sainte-Justine) and the University of Montreal (Université de Montréal), announced yesterday the creation of a pan-Canadian platform, with a mission to ensure a healthy future for newborns at risk of brain damage. For the first time in Canada, the Canadian Newborn Brain Imaging Platform brings together the strengths of clinicians, pediatric neurologists, neuroradiologists and scientists from across Canada. With a presence in every Canadian health care institution, university and research center that is active in the field of neonatology, they will share expertise and knowledge in the aim of developing, standardizing and implementing brain imaging tools and equipment, as well as drugs and best practices.
Cerebral palsy, autism, severe hyperactivity and developmental delay are often caused by a brain injury that occurs within the first weeks of life. “Preventing brain damage at birth may change an entire life,” says the head of the National Platform and pediatrician Gregory Lodygensky at Sainte-Justine, whose research work focuses on the impact of prematurity on brain development. “Extreme prematurity, birth asphyxia or congenital heart defects make infants more susceptible to brain damage. Gaining a clear understanding of what causes this is critical for improving the outcomes for these children in the long term. So is the adoption of best practices in terms of early detection, and the development of more effective drugs,” adds Lodygensky, who is also an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Université de Montréal. Read more.