A ground-breaking clinical research centre dedicated to studying brain development in newborns opened yesterday.
The Evelyn Perinatal Imaging Centre, the only centre of its kind in the country, provides facilities for life-changing research into babies’ brain function, using the latest non-invasive, light based technologies.
It is based at the Rosie Hospital for maternity, women’s and neonatal care, which caters for many mothers from the Newmarket area. Its close proximity to the neonatal intensive care unit, postnatal wards and birthing suite, means both healthy and sick newborn infants in their earliest stages of life can benefit.
Dr Topun Austin, centre lead and consultant neonatologist at the Rosie, said: “Advances in medical technology and expertise have dramatically improved survival rates for babies over the past 30 years. However, pre-term infants, and those who suffer from a shortage of blood flow and oxygen during delivery, can experience lifelong neurological problems.
“These facilities help us identify babies at risk of long-term brain injury and better understand how they respond to different treatments.”
The Evelyn Trust awarded a generous grant towards the centre’s cost following a successful application made by Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust, the hospital’s charity.
The grant funded the construction and fitting out of the centre, which houses a dedicated infant-scanning room, state-of-the-art optical imaging and EEG monitoring systems, physics laboratory and research office.
There is also space for a dedicated magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner for mothers and babies.