So Newborns Can Breathe
Apnea—a temporary pause in breathing—affects nearly all babies born before 28 weeks of gestation, and can lead to neurological complications. One to two percent of these premature infants experience serious illnesses. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) claims 85 victims in Canada each year.
As Canada Research Chair in Neonatal Respiratory Physiology, Dr. Jean-Paul Praud uses neonatal ovine models born both prematurely and at term whose cardio-respiratory difficulties mimic those seen among newborns and infants. Praud and his research team perform complex analyses of many physiological signs that are recorded simultaneously—such as respiration, cardiac activity, sleep stages, swallowing and gastro-oesophageal reflexes—to understand how they are involved in neonatal pathologies. They also study brain inflammation and how it affects the way cardio-respiratory control centres function.
Praud focuses on a key aspect of neonatal medicine that continues to cause problems for pediatricians on a daily basis. His research makes it possible to better understand the mechanisms at work and to more effectively screen, prevent and treat these sometimes dramatic cardio-respiratory pathologies.