Hope against blindness

Hope against blindness for premature babies with problems of the retina

When children are born very prematurely can cause the blood vessels of the retina are not fully developed

The children can then go to meet a rare disease called retinopathy of prematurity, which can lead them to be visually or, in the worst cases to the point of becoming blind due to a detachment of the retina, but a study in sweden, the Sahlgrenska Academy, comes a hope of being able to protect.

The study, which examined the levels of about 20 different fatty acids in the blood of 90 children born before 28 weeks of pregnancy, published in JAMA Ophthalmology, indicates a clear link between this disease and low levels of arachidonic acid, a fatty acid, measured in the blood of children. This acid belongs to the family of the polyunsaturated omega-6 and high levels is associated with inflammation and heart disease in adults.

During the foetal period, however, the situation may be different.

“Arachidonic acid seems to be of particular importance during the entire pregnancy as a crucial element for the membranes,” says Ann Hellström, lead author of the research. “The mother provides the fetus arachidonic acid, which is a much lower level in his blood compared to the fetal levels, so we feel that it is important that premature infants receive this fatty acid as a supplement”.

The hypothesis will now be tested in a new study involving 210 children in neonatal units in three cities in sweden: Gothenburg, Lund and Stockholm. The small will be administered a supplement with a combination of DHA, a polyunsaturated fatty acid omega-3, which is also important for the construction of blood vessels and nerve tissue, and arachidonic acid. (ANSA). . .

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