4:25 PM
 | 
May 06, 2019
 |  BC Innovations  |  Translation in Brief

Baby brain organoids link stress response to hypoxic encephalopathy

Human brain organoids unveil mechanistic target for premature birth complication

Brain organoids could help unravel one complication of extremely premature birth: hypoxic encephalopathy. A Stanford group used the technology to zero in on the unfolded protein response as a target for preventing the indication.

Encephalopathy can occur in infants who are born before 28 weeks gestation, and results in abnormalities in the gray and white matter of the brain and low brain cortex volume. Hypoxia has been implicated because of the infants’ underdeveloped lungs. But the molecular underpinnings of encephalopathy have remained largely a mystery due to lack of research tools.

“The progenitors are actually starting up the unfolded protein response,...

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