Research studies initiated, sponsored or supported by The Little Foundation include:
Hack, M., Flannery, D.J., Schluchter, M., Cartar, L., Borawski, E., Klein, N., 2002. Outcomes in young adulthood for very-low-birth-weight infants. New England Journal of Medicine 346(3), 149–57.
Czeizel, A.E., 2009. Periconceptional folic acid and multivitamin supplementation for the prevention of neural tube defects and other congenital abnormalities. Birth Defects Research, Part A, Clinical and molecular teratology, 85(4), 260–8.
Brough, L., Rees, G.A., Crawford, M.A., Morton, R.H. and Dorman, E.K., 2010. Effect of multiple-micronutrient supplementation on maternal nutrient status and infant birth weight and gestational age at birth in a low income, multi-ethnic population. British Journal of Nutrition, 104(03), 437–445.
Crawford, M.A., Golfetto, I., Ghebremeskel, K., Min, Y., Moodley, T., Poston, L., Phylactos, A., Cunnane, S. and Schmidt, W., 2003 The potential role for arachidonic and docosahexaenoic acids in protection against some central nervous system injuries in preterm infants. Lipids 38(4), 303–315.
Turk, J., Bax, M., Williams, C., Amin, P., Eriksson, M., Gillberg, C., 2009. Autism spectrum disorder in children with and without epilepsy: impact on social functioning and communication. Acta Paediatrica 98 (4), 675–81.
Rosenbaum, P. et al, 2007. A report: the definition and classification of cerebral palsy April 2006. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology 49(S109), 8–14.
Bax, M., Tydeman, C., Flodmark, O., 2006. Clinical and MRI correlates of cerebral palsy: the European Cerebral Palsy Study. Journal of the American Medical Association 296(13), 1602–8.
In 2007, a Little Foundation study examined over 600 children with cerebral palsy in seven European countries in order to find the most common causes so that potential preventive strategies can be targeted most effectively. In November 2009, Lord Hameed, the charity's president, tabled a motion in the House of Lords asking the Government what measures have been taken to prevent cerebral palsy which now costs the NHS £4 billion every year.
In June 2010, Lord Hameed hosted a seminar of experts at the House of Lords to discuss new evidence that can assist the prevention of cerebral palsy and other developmental disorders of the brain. Chaired by Lord Turnberg, the seminar heard from a number of eminent scientists, including Professor Michael Crawford, Trustee and Director of the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition; Dr Enitan Ogundipe of Chelsea & Westminster Hospital; and Professor Mark Johnson of Imperial College London.
The results of another research project supported by The Little Foundation, examining the relationship between Epilepsy and Autistic Spectrum Disorders (asd) in children, have recently been published. This study compared the differences in skills and behaviours of children with both asd and epilepsy and those with asd alone. The important differences found have both diagnostic and therapeutic implications.
We are currently making plans for the next research project which will focus on the cause and prevention of neurodevelopmental disorders associated with very low birth weight and preterm deliveries.
The scientists at the 2009 seminar reported new evidence that severe brain disorders such as cerebral palsy may have infectious-nutritional causes prior to the normal birth date. New evidence suggests that the foetal stages of brain development are put at risk by malnutrition affecting brain-specific fats and thus their ability to control inflammations caused by maternal infections. The implications are that cerebral palsy, like neural tube defects, is preventable and also that, with very early detection and intervention, the outcomes of the condition may be ameliorated. To take this forward, the Foundation is seeking support for a major research collaboration between Imperial College London and the Kitchener Medical School at the University of Khartoum. The study will test the effectiveness of giving brain specific nutrients in pregnancy to reduce the incidence of cerebral palsy.
In addition, the Foundation has sponsored over 20 international seminars/workshops on various subjects including:
- The Thyroid
- Specific Learning Disorders
- The Placenta
- Aids, HIV, Viruses and Brain Damage
- Non-accidental Head Injury
- Drugs in Pregnancy
- Neuroprotection of the Infant Brain
- Folic Acid
With your support, the success of The Little Foundation's endeavours will benefit the lives of future generations – your children, grandchildren and the children of your relatives and friends.