Navigation Links
Helping preterm babies get the best start

Babies born prematurely could be at greater risk of developing kidney diseases later in life according to a landmark study investigating the impacts of preterm birth on kidney development.

The Monash University study is identifying new strategies for minimising the consequences of being born preterm, which accounts for around eight per cent of births each year in Australia.

By comparing the kidneys of babies born prematurely with those born after the full nine-month gestation, the research team, led by Associate Professor Jane Black from the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, identified that preterm babies had far fewer nephrons the 'building blocks' that make our kidneys.

"An average person has around 800,000 to 1.5 million nephrons and the number we have at birth is the number we have for life," Associate Professor Black said.

"We have shown that babies born preterm have less nephrons, in the range of 400,000 600,000. This is because nephron development occurs in the last few weeks of pregnancy, so babies born preterm have not had time to complete the developmental process."

"Even moderate preterm babies, those born within four weeks of full gestation, who were previously considered to have achieved 'normal' development, were found to have far fewer nephrons and underdeveloped kidneys."

Associate Professor Black said the findings were of critical importance because of the known link between having fewer nephrons and renal, or kidney, diseases.

"The more nephrons you have the more 'solid' a structure your kidneys will have. When we look at kidneys that have fewer nephrons, abnormalities are present, which indicates that preterm babies could be much more susceptible to renal disease and possible kidney failure later in life," Associate Professor Black said.

"Particularly in the last 30 years, we have had great successes with preterm births and today even babies born 26 weeks premature have an 80 per cent chance of survival. Preterm babies now account for around eight per cent of births in Australia and 12-14 per cent in the USA."

"Because the improvements in survival rates are only recent, we have not yet witnessed the impact of premature births on the health system."

Associate Professor Black has received two prestigious grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) administered by Monash University.

"The NHMRC funding will enable Monash researchers to study the development of kidneys and hearts in preterm babies," Associate Professor Black said.

"With the kidney studies, our aim is to develop strategies that will ensure these babies have the highest number of nephrons possible, in order to give them the best start in life."

"We need to know the things that restrict nephron development and are looking at a range of factors, including blood pressure, respiration, medications taken during pregnancy, and care following birth."

"We are also working with Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory so we can make a comparison between the renal development of Indigenous and non-Indigenous babies. This is timely as Indigenous people have 17 times greater incidence of renal disease than the non-Indigenous population," said Associate Professor Black.


Contact: Monash Media and Communciations
Monash University

Related medicine news :

1. Helping deaf people to enjoy music again
2. Helping the aged during natural disasters
3. Sedentary Jobs Helping to Drive Obesity Epidemic
4. New UTHealth trial aimed at helping pregnant women stop smoking
5. Wii key to helping kids balance
6. U. of Colorado study shows acupressure effective in helping to treat traumatic brain injury
7. Helping Fellow Addicts Can Help Maintain Sobriety
8. Helping others helps alcoholics stay on the road to recovery, Case Western Reserve shows
9. FSU researchers helping electric-wheelchair users move more easily
10. School-based program effective in helping adolescents
11. States Urged to Fill Gap in Helping Smokers Quit
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... A revolution is underway. ... transport experience for the millions of people who require these medical transport services ... industry through the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has put forth an industry-changing ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, a ... and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility is ... to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. Its ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind ... able to be personalized through a fitness app. The fitness app plans to fix the ... solutions currently only offer a one size fits all type program , They ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica ... Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs ... Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest ... as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are ... Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: ... 510(k) clearance for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay ... sepsis or septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is ... a fully integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and ... with bacterial infection and PCT levels in blood can ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 , ... Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: , ... , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost ... Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. Several ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 The vast ... an outpatient dialysis facility.  Treatments are usually 3 times ... hours per visit, including travel time, equipment preparation and ... patient, but especially grueling for patients who are elderly ... a skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers for some duration ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: