Rapid development in neonatal and cardiac surgery care in newborns has enabled survival of an increasing number of infants following preterm birth and of infants with congenital heart defects. Unfortunately this is accompanied by a significant prevalence of neurological and cognitive impairment detectable during childhood. This presentation will discuss pathophysiological mechanisms and targets that can be addressed therapeutically in order to prevent development of brain damage and subsequent neurological impairment. Intravascular and extravascular hemolysis of blood and the subsequent release of extracellular hemoglobin will be suggested as central disease generating events that causes irreversible disruption of the white- and grey matter, blood-brain-barrier disruption and deadly brain edema leading to massive brain cell death. From a clinical perspective, the research targets two groups of infants; 1) preterm birth infants who develop cerebral intraventricular hemorrhage and 2) newborns with congenital heart defects requiring cardiopulmonary bypass. The presentation focuses on development and implementation of novel neuroprotective strategies with the aim of promoting brain development in newborns with high risk for neurodevelopmental impairment.
The majority of the presenting authors work is focused on a) hemoglobin pathophysiology, with special emphasis on characterizing the role of extracellular hemoglobin and its scavenger system in human diseases; and b) free radical research, emphasizing the importance of redox biology c) A1M, a human endogenous heme and radical scavenger involved in endogenous protection and d) brain damage following preterm intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH). These subject matters are all part of this presentation. Along with the presenting author’s academic research career, he is a senior scientist in the pharmaceutical company A1M Pharma.
The presenting authors work in the field has been recognized in several contexts; including a 3 year position for the research program “Brain damage and neurological impairment in newborns molecular mechanisms, clinical significance and novel therapeutic Interventions”; a 2 year support for the research program “Cell-free hemoglobin, hyperoxia and brain development in newborn infants with congenital heart defect requiring surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass”; the Young Investigator Exchange Program Award, “In recognition of research achievements in pediatrics” by the Society for Pediatric Research in 2014.I have authored and co-authored 39 publications. Furthermore, I serve as regular editor and reviewer in several international scientific journals in the current research field.