Transatlantic Network on Newborn Stroke: Inflammatory Modulation of Neurovascular Injury

Investigator: Donna M. Ferriero, MD
Sponsor: Fondation Leducq

Location(s): France; Sweden; United Kingdom; United States


Neonatal stroke occurs in more than 1 in 4000 births. Most newborns survive, but more than 80% have complications such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy and developmental disorders, making stroke a major cause of pediatric disability. Brain injury from neonatal stroke occurs over days to weeks, resulting from cascades of pathologic processes such as inflammation and excitotoxicity, in which brain cells are damaged by being over-activated. On the other hand, the neonatal brain is thought to have a significant capacity for recovery after injury, though the factors that regulate repair after stroke are poorly understood.   The central hypothesis of this network is that brain function can be restored after neonatal stroke through suppression of toxic cascades and enhancement of repair responses.  The network will investigate the role of two types of immune cells (microglia and mast cells) that appear to be important in injury and repair after neonatal stroke. The network will study four animal models of stroke injury and use techniques such as genomic, protein and metabolite analysis and magnetic resonance imaging. By uniting neonatal neurologists, perinatologists and developmental scientists, this work will lay the groundwork for translation to clinical treatments for neonatal stroke.