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Recent Advances in Doppler Signal Processing and Modelling Techniques for Fetal Monitoring

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889455362 Year: Pages: 99 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-536-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Physiology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 14:53:42
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The guest editors of this eBook have accepted 10 very high-quality submissions for inclusion in a special issue of Frontiers in Physiology. The key difference between this eBook and contemporary fetal physiology related literature is that this Research Topic summarizes additional insights into the physiological link between physiologically understandable mathematical indices of fetal signals and the developing cardiovascular functions in fetal health and compromises. This book should be of considerable help to researchers, professionals in fetal monitoring device industries, academics, and graduate students from a wide range of disciplines. The text provides a comprehensive account of recent research in this emerging field and we anticipate that the concepts presented here will generate further research in this field.

Fetal Therapies and Maternal-Fetal Tolerance

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889199839 Year: Pages: 84 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-983-9 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Therapeutics --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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The ability to diagnose and treat genetic diseases before birth represents one of the foremost breakthroughs of modern medicine. While fetal surgery has advanced in the last several decades, the prospect of applying developments in stem cell biology and gene therapy to the fetal environment remains an open frontier. This issue represents the work of international experts in the field of fetal therapy, who came together at the first meeting of the International Fetal Transplantation and Immunology Society in 2014. This meeting was convened in an effort to provide a consensus for future applications of in utero transplantation and gene therapy, as well as form an international community of colleagues to nurture this field.

New therapeutic targets for human placental angiogenesis diseases

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194612 Year: Pages: 113 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-461-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Therapeutics --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-03-10 08:14:32
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A large number of publications have described impaired angiogenesis and vasculogenesis present in the feto-placental circulation after pregnancy diseases such as pre-eclamptic pregnancies, gestational diabetes, and intrauterine growth restriction, among others. Results suggest impaired secretion and activity of pro-angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), interleukin 8 (IL-8), adenosine and nitric oxide, associates with compromised secretion and activity of anti-angiogenic factors such as soluble receptor of VEGF (sFlt-1), thrombospondin 2, endostatin among others. More recent evidences include the participation of endothelial progenitor cells (EPC), which circulating number is reduced infeto-placental circulation in pregnancies such as pre-eclampsia. Despite this knowledge, therapies for placental angiogenesis recovery during pathological pregnancies are far to be tested. However, from the cardiovascular field, it has been described the administration of EPC, alone or used as gene-transfer therapy; or it has been described the potential role of statins (HMGCoA inhibitors), or angiotensin-converter enzyme (ACE) inhibitors for enhancing angiogenesis. Finally, feto-placental tissue is an exceptional source of progenitor and stem cells, which could be used for treated other human diseases such as stroke, myocardial infarction, hypertension, or even cancer. In this research topic, authors highlight physiopatological and clinical importance of the impaired placental angiogenesis, and suggest potential targets for developing innovative therapies.

New Approaches to the Pathogenesis of Sudden Intrauterine Unexplained Death and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889453016 Year: Pages: 104 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-301-6 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Medicine (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-27 16:16:45
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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death among infants in the first year of age. The more known definition of SIDS is the sudden unexpected death of an infant less than 1 year of age, with onset of the fatal episode apparently occurring during sleep, that remains unexplained after a thorough investigation, including performance of a complete autopsy and review of the circumstances of death and the clinical history. Despite the success of the “Back to Sleep” campaigns to reduce the risks introduced worldwide, the frequency of SIDS (striking one infant every 750-1,000 live births) has not significantly declined in the last years. Sudden Intrauterine Unexplained Death Syndrome (SIUDS), referring to fetuses that die unexpectedly, particularly in the last weeks of gestation, without any cause even after a complete autopsy, including examination of the placental disk, umbilical cord and fetal membranes, has a six-eightfold greater incidence than that of SIDS. Even if the pathogenetic mechanism of these deaths has not yet been determined, the neuropathology seems to be a consistent substrate in both SIUDS and SIDS. Subtle common developmental abnormalities of brainstem nuclei checking the vital functions have been highlighted, frequently related to environmental risk factors, such as cigarette smoke, air and water pollution, pesticides, food contamination, etc. Exogenous toxic factors can in fact interact in complex ways with the genetic constitution of the infant leading to polymorphisms and/or mutations of specific genes (as polymorphisms of the serotonin transporter gene 5-HTT, the regulator of the synaptic serotonin concentration, and of the PHOX2B, the key gene in the Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome). These interactions can directly injure the development of the autonomic nervous system, frequently resulting in hypoplasia of the vital brainstem centers, and consequently in sudden death. It is very important to continue studying these syndromes and in particular identify all possible congenital alterations and their correlation with the exposure to environmental risk factors, in order to reduce their incidence and mitigate the surrounding social concern. The goal of this research topic is to propose new approaches to explain the pathogenesis of both SIUDS and SIDS and consequently new prevention strategies to decrease the incidence of these unexpected and very devastating events for families. Expert authors in the Topic field are encouraged to submit original research articles aimed to widen the current knowledge on the pathological substrates of these deaths, also considering the correlations with possible risk factors. Submissions of hypotheses, opinions and commentaries are also welcome. This Research Topic would lead to development of targeted risk-lowering strategies to reduce the incidence of both SIUDS and SIDS. Furthermore, the adoption of appropriate preventive measures could also lead to improve the quality of life in adults, promoting active and healthy aging.

Prenatal Beginnings for Better Health

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889455096 Year: Pages: 107 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-509-6 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Therapeutics --- Medicine (General) --- Pediatrics
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 14:53:42
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Pregnancy has significant short- and long-term health impacts for mother and child, which may lead to pediatric- and adult-onset diseases. Understanding these gestational origins of disease and currently existing platforms for prenatal care has resulted in significant advances to detect and prevent adverse maternal and fetal outcomes. Existing and emerging prenatal interventions that are instituted at critical times in gestation take advantage of unique therapeutic windows and provide an opportunity to modify the risks. This research topic encompasses a variety of approaches and interventions, such as maternal screening for fetal disease, advanced fetal imaging, biomarker development, stem cell or gene therapies, and others.

Brain Development and the Attention Spectrum

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194827 Year: Pages: 96 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-482-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2015-11-16 15:44:59
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Early-onset and enduring developmental deficits in attention, especially if combined with increased hyperactivity, and impulsivity, may result in constant impairments in multiple domains of personal life. The full spectrum of symptoms is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity, which is maladaptive and inconsistent with a comparable level of developmental age known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD is considered one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders and of childhood, and among the most prevalent chronic health conditions.Given the wide heterogeneity and complex manifestations of the disorder, there is an importance in a developmental perspective that views ADHD as a multi-factorial disorder with multiple, causal processes, and pathways. The symptoms of ADHD should be cast, not as static or fixed neurobehavioral deficits, but rather in terms of underlying developmental processes.Even experienced professional might minimize the prevalence of a disorder among certain groups of patients. Therefore, the existence of attention disorders might become ""transparent"" for both the patient and the professional. This might lead to a non-accurate diagnosis, harm the treatment aspects and has potential non beneficial prognostic aspects.The developmental approach can provide predictions as to how characteristics associated with attention develop over time and how multiple risk and protective factors transact to impact it's development, as well as the development of a broad range of associated co-morbid features.Among children with mental retardation, autistic spectrum disorders, children who were born premature, born with low birth weight, as well as among those who suffer from chronic disorders (such as epilepsy, diabetes, chronic kidney disease or asthma), as well as among otherwise healthy preschoolers - the assessment of attention performance might be very challenging. In this research topic, we explore the latest cutting edge research on the biological and neural pathways as well as on psychosocial and behavioral correlates of brain development and attention spectrum. In doing so we aim to highlight: what is currently known regarding this new conceptualization of attention as a spectrum; the mechanisms underlying this spectrum; and where this field is headed in terms of developing our understanding of the link between brain development and attention performance.

Keywords

ADHD --- Attention --- Brain --- autism --- Child --- Delay --- development --- fetal --- maturation --- spectrum --- visual

Experimental models of early exposure to alcohol: a way to unravel the neurobiology of mental retardation

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889194728 Year: Pages: 104 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-472-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Pediatrics --- Psychiatry --- Medicine (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-03-10 08:14:33
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Excessive alcohol drinking represents a major social and public health problem for several countries. Alcohol abuse during pregnancy leads to a complex syndrome referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), chiefly characterized by mental retardation. The effects of early exposure to ethanol can be reproduced in laboratory animals and this helped to answer several key questions concerning the human pathology. The interest of experimental models of FASD is twofold. First, they increase our knowledge about the dose and modality of alcohol consumption able to induce damaging effects on the developing brain. Second, experimental models of FASD can provide useful hints to elucidate the basic mechanisms leading to the intellectual disability. In fact, experimental exposure to alcohol can be carried out during discrete, often very restricted, time windows. As a consequence, FASD models, though depending on the multifaceted interference of alcohol with several molecular pathways, can provide valuable information about which specific developmental periods and brain areas are critically involved in the genesis of mental retardation. Putting together data obtained through several experimental paradigms of alcohol exposure and those deriving from other genetic and non-genetic models, one can figure out to what extent different types of mental retardation share common pathogenetic mechanisms. The present Research Topic is aimed at establishing the state of the art of the current research on experimental FASD, focusing on differences and homologies with other types of intellectual disability. The ultimate goal is to find out a common roadmap in view of future therapeutical approaches.

Neuroanatomy of Human Brain Development

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889451203 Year: Pages: 221 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-120-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-07-06 13:27:36
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The human brain is extraordinary complex and yet its origin is a simple tubular structure. Rapid and dramatic structural growth takes place during the fetal and perinatal period. By the time of birth, a repertoire of major cortical, subcortical and white matter structures resembling the adult pattern has emerged, however there are continued maturational changes of the gray matter and white matter throughout childhood and adolescence and into adulthood. The maturation of neuronal structures provides the neuroanatomical basis for the acquisition and refinement of cognitive functions during postnatal development. Histological imaging has been traditionally dominant in understanding neuroanatomy of early brain development and still plays an unparalleled role in this field. Modern magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques including diffusion MRI, as noninvasive tools readily applied to in vivo brains, have become an important complementary approach in revealing the detailed brain anatomy, including the structural connectivity between brain regions. In this research topic, we presented the most recent investigations on understanding the neuroanatomy and connectivity of human brain development using both histology and MRI. Modern advances in mapping normal developmental brain anatomy and connectivity should elucidate many neurodevelopmental disorders, ranging from rare congenital malformations to common disorders such as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is a prerequisite for better diagnosis and treatment of these currently poorly understood diseases.

Genetics and epigenetics of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889195732 Year: Pages: 114 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-573-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Biology --- Science (General) --- Genetics
Added to DOAB on : 2016-02-05 17:24:33
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Women drinking during pregnancy can result in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), which may feature variable neurodevelopmental deficits, facial dysmorphology, growth retardation, and learning disabilities. Research suggests the human brain is precisely formed through an intrinsic, genetic-cellular expression that is carefully orchestrated by an epigenetic program. This program can be influenced by environmental inputs such as alcohol. Current research suggests the genetic and epigenetic elements of FASD are heavily intertwined and highly dependent on one another. As such, now is the time for investigators to combine genetic, genomic and epigenetic components of alcohol research into a centralized, accessible platform for discussion. Genetic analyses inform gene sets which may be vulnerable to alcohol exposure during early neurulation. Prenatal alcohol exposure indeed alters expression of gene subsets, including genes involved in neural specification, hematopoiesis, methylation, chromatin remodeling, histone variants, eye and heart development. Recently, quantitative genomic mapping has revealed loci (QTLs) that mediate alcohol-induced phenotypes identified between two alcohol-drinking mouse strains. One question to consider is (besides the role of dose and stage of alcohol exposure) why only 5% of drinking women deliver newborns diagnosed with FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome)? Studies are ongoing to answer this question by characterizing genome-wide expression, allele-specific expression (ASE), gene polymorphisms (SNPs) and maternal genetic factors that influence alcohol vulnerability. Alcohol exposure during pregnancy, which can lead to FASD, has been used as a model to resolve the epigenetic pathway between environment and phenotype. Epigenetic mechanisms modify genetic outputs through alteration of 3D chromatin structure and accessibility of transcriptional machinery. Several laboratories have reported altered epigenetics, including DNA methylation and histone modification, in multiple models of FASD. During development DNA methylation is dynamic yet orchestrated in a precise spatiotemporal manner during neurulation and coincidental with neural differentiation. Alcohol can directly influence epigenetics through alterations of the methionine pathway and subsequent DNA or histone methylation/acetylation. Alcohol also alters noncoding RNA including miRNA and transposable elements (TEs). Evidence suggests that miRNA expression may mediate ethanol teratology, and TEs may be affected by alcohol through the alteration of DNA methylation at its regulatory region. In this manner, the epigenetic and genetic components of FASD are revealing themselves to be mechanistically intertwined. Can alcohol-induced epigenomic alterations be passed across generations? Early epidemiological studies have revealed infants with FASD-like features in the absence of maternal alcohol, where the fathers were alcoholics. Novel mechanisms for alcohol-induced phenotypes include altered sperm DNA methylation, hypomethylated paternal allele and heritable epimutations. These studies predict the heritability of alcohol-induced epigenetic abnormalities and gene functionality across generations. We opened a forum to researchers and investigators the field of FASD to discuss their insights, hypotheses, fresh data, past research, and future research themes embedded in this rising field of the genetics and epigenetics of FASD. This eBook is a product of the collective sharing and debate among researchers who have contributed or reviewed each subject.

Promiscuous functions of the prion protein gene family

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196050 Year: Pages: 113 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-605-0 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Biology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-16 10:34:25
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The cellular prion protein PrPC is a ubiquitous GPI-anchored protein. While PrPC has been the focus of intense research for its involvement in a group of neurodegenerative disorders known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE), much less attention has been devoted to its physiological function. This notably relates to the lack of obvious abnormalities of mice, goat or cattle lacking PrPC. This apparently normal phenotype in these PrPC-deficient animals however contrasts with the very high degree of conservation of the prion protein gene (Prnp) in mammalian species (over 80%), and the presence of genes with similarities to Prnp in birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. This high conservation together with its ubiquitous expression, - albeit at highest levels in the brain-, suggest that PrPC has major physiological functions. Dissecting PrPC function is further complicated by the occurrence, in mammals, of two potentially partially redundant homologues, Doppel, and Shadoo. The biological overlaps between members of the prion protein family are still under investigation and much debated. Similarly, although in vitro analyses have suggested various functions for PrPC, notably in cell death and survival processes, some have yielded conflicting results and/or discrepancies with in vivo studies. This Research Topic brings together the accumulated knowledge regarding the biological roles of the prion protein family, from the animal to the molecular scale.

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