Thrasher Research Fund - Medical research grants to improve the lives of children

Project Details

Early Career

Status: Funded - Open

Neurodevelopment and brain volume one-year post-neonatal sepsis: a prospective cohort study

David Mukunya, PhD, MBChB


BACKGROUND: Over 250 million children in low and middle-income countries do not fulfill their neurodevelopmental potential, which results in poor school performance and intergenerational poverty. Identifying risk factors for neurodevelopmental delay could guide the development of timely, effective and targeted interventions. GAP: Neurodevelopmental impairments following neonatal sepsis are not well documented and yet neonatal sepsis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. HYPOTHESIS: Infants who were admitted with neonatal sepsis will have twice the risk of delayed neurodevelopment at two year of age compared to children who did not suffer from neonatal sepsis. It is feasible to measure infant brain volumes for a community-based cohort in eastern Uganda. Infants who were admitted with neonatal sepsis will have lower brain volume compared to infants who were not admitted with neonatal sepsis. METHODS: We will prospectively follow up a cohort of 400 infants nested in a cluster randomized controlled trial at one year, half of whom were hospitalized with neonatal sepsis, and assess their neurodevelopment. RESULTS: Pending. IMPACT: Our findings will act as justification for bigger studies whose results will have implications on guidelines for the post discharge management of infants with neonatal sepsis.

Supervising Institution:
Busitema University

Melissa Gladstone

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