Stanford Medicine News’ Erin Digitale reports on recent findings by the venerable San Francisco Bay Area research institution. Recent study findings suggest that low oxygen levels during brain development may trigger premature cell differentiation in premature babies. Stanford researchers are unclear about the mechanism by which low oxygen hurts the developing human brain.
However the Stanford team has identified specific brain cells that are susceptible to damage due to low oxygen exposure during early development. They have found that the brain damage correlates to brain abnormalities such as reduction in gray matter—often seen with premature babies. The recent findings were published online May 6 in Nature Medicine. Follow the link to source story for details of this important research. Other contributors are mentioned in the source. Scientists from Seoul National University and University of California, San Francisco made contributions to this research. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the MQ Fellow Award, the New York Stem Cell Foundation, the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute, Stanford Bio-X, the Kwan Research Fund, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, the Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs and the Stanford Maternal & Child Health Research Institute.