Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cerebral Palsy and Dendrimers

Estimates are that approximately 1 in 303 children have cerebral palsy by age 8. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cerebral palsy can result from neurological damage during gestation (e.g., a kink in the umbilical cord that briefly interferes with fetal oxygen supplies, maternal infection). Such neurological damage can lead to the activation of immune cells in the brain known as microglia and astrocytes, which cause further inflammation and exacerbate the damage. Recent research with dendrimers (Kannan, Sujatha, et al., Dendrimer-Based Postnatal Therapy for Neuroinflammation and Cerebral Palsy in a Rabbit Model, Science Translational Medicine, 2012) suggests there may be a role for them in a variety of conditions including cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other diseases such as genital herpes and cancer.

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