Study Led By Pelin Cengiz, MD, Examines Why Female Newborns are Better Protected from Brain Injury

The Waisman Center lab of Pelin Cengiz, MD, published a study in the journal eNeuro focusing on why male infants are more vulnerable to hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a deprivation of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood caused by pregnancy or birth complications that can lead to learning disabilities, cerebral palsy or even death.

The research team showed that a particular protein, estrogen receptor α (ERα), found in the brains of both male and female mice, is present at higher levels in females, thereby offering them stronger protection against HIE. Better understanding this difference is a first step toward helping newborns of both sexes recover from HIE and live functional lives. It could also lead to more effective therapies and treatments for both genders.

Read the full story at wisc.edu