Worldwide, newborn infants suffer death or permanent brain damage caused by diseases arising before or around the time of birth. I do translational research aimed at developing effective treatment. By integrating my studies of normal physiological changes in many organ systems with pathological changed seen during disease, I have – together with my students – developed experimental models that mimic global hypoxic-ischemic injury and brain haemorrhage leading to permanent disability in children. The neuroprotective effect of cooling newborns first presented in these models, led to clinical trials where we documented the same neuroprotective effect in humans.
Currently we are examining a randomised trial whether adding the inert gas xenon to cooling improves outcome further. In parallel with the clinical trials we study how cooling and xenon work, the effect of hyperoxia, the interaction with the cardiovascular system, the heart and regulation of cerebral blood flow.