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Treatment of GABAergic interneuron dysfunction in preterm brain injury

52 months
Approved budget:
Associate Professor Justin Dean
Post Doctoral Fellow
Professor Alistair Gunn
Professor Laura Bennet
Health issue:
Neurological (CNS)
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Exposure to reduced oxygen and blood flow (hypoxia-ischemia) to the brain in early life is a known trigger for a range of neurodevelopmental disorders, which show common impairments in growth and connectivity of neurons in the brain. We have discovered a new role for the proteins and sugars that surround neurons (the extracellular matrix) in controlling normal brain development. This study will examine, for the first time, whether abnormal breakdown of a key extracellular matrix sugar, hyaluronan, causes impaired neuron development following early-life hypoxia-ischemia, and whether pharmacological blockade of this abnormal hyaluronan breakdown can promote normal brain development.