Navigation Links
Tufts Medical Center researchers finds marker in premies' saliva predicts readiness to feed by mouth
Date:5/21/2012

BOSTON (May 21) -- Tufts Medical Center researchers have shown that presence of a gene strongly linked to appetite regulation is highly predictive of a premature infant's readiness to feed orally. An analysis of just a drop of an infant's saliva could be the key to preventing many feeding problems and the expensive medical complications that can occur when infants are fed by mouth too early.

In a study published in the May 21 edition of the journal PLoS ONE, Maron and colleagues have identified a biomarker in saliva that predicts a baby is not yet ready to feed 95 percent of the time. The biomarker, a gene for the neuropeptide Y2 receptor, NPY2R, is a known regulator of feeding behavior. In their study, the researchers demonstrated that levels of NPY2R in saliva decline as a newborn matures enough to feed orally.

"There's a really important need for a better understanding and a more accurate assessment of infants' feeding skills, '' said Jill L. Maron, MD, MPH, a researcher at the Mother Infant Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center. "Nearly every baby born early is at risk for feeding associated morbidities, which often lead to prolonged hospitalizations, short and long term health complications, and significant parental anxiety. This is a way of monitoring the most vulnerable babies very non-invasively. We can help guide clinical care without ever hurting them.''

Currently, caregivers use a variety of subjective measurements, such as evaluating a baby's sucking and swallowing skills, to determine when it's safe to feed a baby by mouth. But these methods are imprecise and often lead to feeding a baby too early, which can cause the child to choke, accidentally inhale breast milk or formula into their lungs leading to pneumonia, or other problems. Babies who suffer these early feeding difficulties can also go on to develop long-term feeding problems and are at risk of developmental delays. Research indicates that more than 40 percent of children in feeding disorder clinics were premature babies.

The NPY2R gene has been studied extensively because it helps regulate appetite and plays a role in both obesity and eating disorders. But no one had examined its role in prompting premature babies to eat, because most researchers were not focusing on appetite's role in newborn feeding problems.

"No one had targeted this area of research because you can't ask a baby, are you hungry?" said Maron. But, in fact, premature babies need to grow to three or four times their initial birth weight in the first year of life. This requires a voracious appetite and while researchers aren't sure exactly how it works, it appears that NPY2R suppresses that appetite.

"More research is needed to explain the biological mechanism regulating this gene in infants. However, if we can detect NPY2R in newborns' saliva, there's a 95 percent chance they won't feed for you or they will be poor feeders,'' said Maron.

Maron is developing a simple saliva test for use in neonatal intensive care units to help doctors determine that it's safe to start transitioning premature babies to oral feeding. Feeding is a complex behavior that involves a variety of skills, muscles and nerves. Ultimately, Maron hopes to develop a comprehensive panel that would help determine not only when babies are ready to feed, but identify the factors that are limiting their feeding success. Such an assay could shorten hospital stays, reduce significant morbidities and save millions in healthcare costs.


'/>"/>

Contact: Julie Jette
jjette@tuftsmedicalcenter.org
617-636-3265
Tufts Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Tufts University Professor Eric Miller named IEEE Fellow
2. Tufts University researcher develops living tissue
3. Tufts graduate students receive $10,000 prizes
4. Tufts biomedical engineer Fiorenzo Omenetto named Guggenheim Fellow
5. Tufts engineering professor wins NSF Career Award
6. Tufts professor earns ISCB Award for Excellence in Chemical Sciences
7. Tufts announces public launch of the Tufts Institute for Biomedical Partnerships website/HUB
8. Jackson Laboratory and Tufts University announce new Ph.D. track in mammalian genetics
9. Tufts University chemist earns prestigious award for promising research on drug development
10. Tufts graduate students win $10,000 prizes
11. Tufts wins NCRR grant for Collaborative Cluster in Genome Structure and Developmental Patterning
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/19/2017)... New York , April 19, 2017 ... competitive, as its vendor landscape is marked by the ... the market is however held by five major players ... Safran. Together these companies accounted for nearly 61% of ... of the leading companies in the global military biometrics ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... PUNE, India , April 13, 2017 According ... Identity Proofing, Identity Authentication, Identity Analytics, Identity Administration, and Authorization), Service, Authentication ... by MarketsandMarkets™, the IAM Market is expected to grow from USD 14.30 ... Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.3%. ... ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ:   ... announces the appointment of independent Directors Mr. Robin D. ... Board of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance and expertise. ... Gino Pereira , ... forward to their guidance and benefiting from their considerable expertise ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 11, 2017 , ... The CRISPR-Cas9 system has ... and avoiding the use of exogenous expression plasmids. The simplicity of programming this ... gain-of-function studies. , This complement to loss-of-function studies, such as with RNAi ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. 11, ... Research, London (ICR) and University of ... SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma (MM), ... nine . The University of Leeds ... funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform the testing ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, today confirmed licensing rights that give it ... Nanoparticle), a technology developed in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... USDM Life Sciences , ... life sciences and healthcare industries, announces a presentation by Subbu Viswanathan and Jennifer ... “Automating GxP Validation for Agile Cloud Platforms,” will present a revolutionary approach to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: