Advancing Care for Prenatal Brain Injury

Through the support of philanthropy, Catherine Limperopoulos, PhD, Director of the Advanced Pediatric Brain Imaging Research Laboratory at Children’s National, is leading a study to identify reliable early signs of prenatal brain injury caused by congenital heart disease (CHD), the most common birth defect. A substantial part of the neurologic injury may be prenatal in origin, but exactly how CHD disrupts fetal brain development remains unclear. This study is looking to find earlier ways to detect potential harm to the brain from congenital heart disease and ultimately help us determine appropriate interventions so that more babies with CHD have an excellent outcome. “Our goal now is to develop ways to reliably and non-invasively detect, before birth, those cases with CHD that are at high risk for early brain injury,” said Dr. Limperopoulos. “This will open windows for new treatments to limit or even prevent impaired brain development.”

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