Assessment of environmental aspects, life habits and pathological condition in child development

Cooperation Project 1

Coordinator: Prof. Rita Mattiello

Assessment of environmental aspects, life habits and pathological condition in child developmentThe early years of life are a moment of great opportunities but also of extreme vulnerability. According to the WHO, the complete development of 1 out of 3 children is highly compromised. This has important implications for health throughout life and results in a considerable loss of human capital for their countries.

Therefore, this framework project is characterized by highly integrated research involving international groups of excellence, which will trigger the perspectives of innovation in the diagnosis and treatment of childhood diseases. The main areas of the framework project for child health will be described as follows:

(1) Impact of the environment on brain and emotional development: underlying epigenetic mechanisms. This collaborative research is intended to study how childhood environments affect the brain and the emotional development of individuals as well as the underlying epigenetic mechanisms.

(2) Neonatal Seizures: the relationship between electroclinical aspects and etiology. This project is embraced by the task-force on Neonatal Seizures of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) and is intended to set up an international database for electroclinical and electrographic seizures to study whether specific etiologies of neonatal seizures have semiological and electrographic characteristics that facilitate their recognition and the selection of the right treatment.

(3) Analysis of the role of derivative metabolites of dietary components in human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) infection. Therefore, this study is intended to analyze whether treatments with short-chain fat acids facilitate the recognition of HRSV by the immune system.

(4) Analysis of the effect of an exercising program about physical conditions, intestinal and respiratory microbiota and inflammatory state in a group of kids and adolescents suffering from Cystic Fibrosis (CF). In this sense, these clinically relevant and innovative complementary actions can minimize the effects in the early stages of life and may have implications in adult life as well.

In addition to ILAE, the projects are being developed by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), a center that is accountable to the National Institute of Health (NIH), from the USA, in partnership with Concordia University, from Canada and with the Universidad Europea de Madrid (UEM) in Spain.


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