Navigation Links
UMass Medical School study points to genetic link in apnea of prematurity
Date:11/2/2010

WORCESTER, Mass. A potentially life-threatening challenge characterized by pauses in breathing that can last for more than 20 seconds, apnea of prematurity (AOP) affects more than 50 percent of premature infants and is almost universal in the smallest of preemies. Caused in part by an underdeveloped central nervous system that can't adequately regulate breathing outside of the womb, especially during sleep, AOP is not yet fully understood by scientists and remains a grave concern among neonatologists and parents alike. New research published in the October issue of Pediatrics by clinical scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School suggests that heredity may play a strong role in determining an infant's susceptibility to AOP and could lead to the development of more effective treatments and screening methods.

Because it causes gaps in breathing, AOP can lead to reduced oxygen levels and a slowed heart rate in premature infants, as well as permanent disabilities and long-term damage to internal organs. Requiring around-the-clock monitoring, infants with AOP often must be gently jostled or rubbed to encourage inhalation and continued breathing, but such activities wake the baby, depriving it of much needed sleep. In severe cases, pharmaceutical interventions, such as caffeine, may be required. While the permanent consequences of AOP and its treatments have yet to be fully studied, infants with AOP are more likely to have cognitive and behavior problems, and other long-term disabilities.

"AOP is a medical puzzle," said David Paydarfar, MD, professor of neurology and physiology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. "Our research seeks to explain why there is so much variability in the incidence and severity of apnea in premature infants and why some infants outgrow the problem much sooner than others."

Elisabeth B. Salisbury, PhD, assistant professor of neurology, Paydarfar, and colleagues compared the rates of AOP in 217 identical and fraternal twin pairs to determine whether heredity played a role in the condition. Using advanced statistical models, they calculated the correlation of the onset of AOP in twins born before 36 weeks gestational age to determine if a genetic component was responsible. What they discovered was that in same-gender twin cases where one fraternal twin suffered from AOP, the other twin had a 62 percent likelihood of also having AOP. In identical twins, the correlation of AOP diagnosis among identical twin pairs was significantly higher 87 percent.

These findings indicate that genetic influences shared by identical twins play a significant part in developing AOP. "While other factors, including environmental ones, contribute to AOP, our study suggests a surprisingly strong genetic predisposition for AOP. Further research is needed to confirm our results and to find the specific gene or group of genes that are linked to this common developmental disorder of breathing," said Paydarfar.

The next step for Paydarfar, Salisbury, and colleagues is to conduct a genome-wide study of AOP among premature infants in order to identify the gene or genes responsible for the condition. "Our work could lead to future insights on the genetic basis of the disease and ultimately more effective treatments for breathing problems in infants. If we can identify the genes involved, it's possible we could develop screening methods for AOP and to test whether these biomarkers are predictive for respiratory conditions later in life," said Paydarfar.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Fessenden
james.fessenden@umassmed.edu
508-856-2000
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Mass Biologic Labs/UMass Med School and Medarex license C. difficile monoclonal antibody to Merck
2. Imperial and NTUs new medical school aspires to be global health care role model
3. Plagiarism sleuths tackle full-text biomedical articles
4. UMMS biomedical researchers develop more reliable, less expensive synthetic graft material
5. Computational model of swimming fish could inspire design of robots or medical prosthetics
6. Knome Awards Human Exome Sequencing and Analysis to Biomedical Researchers
7. LSU receives $15 million grant from NIH to build biomedical research pipeline for Louisiana
8. MARC Travel Awards announced for the 2010 Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting
9. Warrior worms discovered in snails; UCSB scientists see possible biomedical applications
10. SPADnet, a new concept for biomedical imaging, gets funded
11. Drs. Erik De Clercq and Anthony S. Fauci win 2010 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/17/2017)... , April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K ... Commission. ... 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section of the Company,s ... the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 Crossmatch®, ... secure authentication solutions, today announced that it has ... Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to develop next-generation ... program. "Innovation has been a driving ... Thor program will allow us to innovate and ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... -- NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ:   NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... of independent Directors Mr. Robin D. Richards and ... furthering the company,s corporate governance and expertise. ... Gino Pereira , Chief Executive Officer ... guidance and benefiting from their considerable expertise as we move ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 09, 2017 , ... The award-winning American Farmer television series will feature 3 ... airs Tuesdays at 8:30aET on RFD-TV. , With global population estimates nearing ten ... to continue to feed a growing nation. At the same time, many of our ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... the medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s SPEAC® System which uses the surface ... detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using surface electromyography (sEMG). The prospective multicenter ...
(Date:10/7/2017)...  The 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry recognizes ... Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson ... (cryo-EM) have helped to broaden the use ... The winners worked with systems manufactured by Thermo ... resolved, three-dimensional images of protein structures that lead ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... October 05, 2017 , ... ... engineers, and scientists from around the world, is giving back to cancer research with ... in October. , Now through October 31, shoppers can use promo code PinkRibbon ...
Breaking Biology Technology: