5 Strategies to Tackle Lung Disease in Premature Babies

Latest research on BPD (Broncho Pulmonary Dysplasia) in new born babies has come out with a 5 point strategy to treat the disease.

The results of this research were published in the latest release of the journal Thorax.

Scientists at the CHEO Research Institute and Ottawa Hospital Research Institute under the guidance of Dr. Thebaud have developed a therapy involving stem cells to treat this condition.

BPD is a dreaded lung disease that affects more than 10,000 preterm babies in North America, every year.  In this condition, the lungs are not well developed to carry out all the functions of respiration properly.

Hence the baby is required to be on artificial oxygen through an instrument. This damages the lungs leading to further impairment of the lungs and also affects the normal development of other organs as well.

Lung Disease in Premature Babies

Dr. Thebaud and his team have come out with a 5 point strategy to handle this severe condition in neonatals through their studies on mice with BPD:

  1. Stem cells from the cord of the baby (not the cord blood) have demonstrable protective effect when injected into the lungs of the baby. These stem cells are called as mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC).
  2. The MSC are also known to have a reparative effect even when injected 2 weeks after treatment with oxygen.
  3. When MSC metabolites (substances produced by the MSC) were administered in place of the MSC, they demonstrated the same effects as the stem cells.
  4. The protective and reparative effects were long term up to 6 months (4 years in humans) in mice.
  5. The stem cells did not show any side effects on the health of the mice. They were also found to be non-carcinogenic despite their cell-growth inducing properties.

Human trials are planned for the next couple of years and the research team expects fruitful results out of their endeavor.


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