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BabyGlucoLight Uses Diffuse Optics to Link Glucose Levels at Birth with Early Brain Development

Conference will begin: Tuesday, October 25, 2022
Presented by: Sabrina Brigadoi, University of Padova

Very preterm newborns are more susceptible to changes in glucose levels (hypo- or hyperglycemia) during the first weeks postpartum. Achieving optimal glycemic control in this population is, however, still challenging, since adequate target glucose levels are still debatable in the medical community. Previous studies demonstrated a link between glucose levels and brain oxygenation, hypothesizing the presence of a natural cerebral glucose sensor, and it can thus be inferred that glucose changes might affect the brain and brain development. But studies so far have not determined the direct effects of these glycemic changes on the preterm brain. The BabyGlucoLight project seeks to continuously monitor brain hemodynamics using diffuse optical tomography and monitor glucose levels using continuous glucose monitoring during the first week postpartum in very preterm babies and follow them up until 24 months of age. Brigadoi describes the theoretical background and the outline of the project and shows some preliminary results.


About the presenter
Sabrina BrigadoiSabrina Brigadoi, Ph.D., is assistant professor at the Department of Developmental Psychology and Socialisation at the University of Padova. She received her master’s degree in bioengineering in 2010 and then her doctorate in psychological science in 2014, both from the University of Padova. During her doctoral studies, she visited both the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging in Boston and University College London (UCL), working on signal processing techniques and neonatal atlases for functional NIR spectroscopy (fNIRS) applications. She worked for one year as a research associate at UCL, before coming back to the University of Padova as a postdoctoral fellow, working on advancements in fNIRS and performing cognitive studies in infants and adults. In 2018, she won a starting grant from the University of Padova to study the relationship between glycemic changes and brain oxygenation changes in very preterm neonates, which was further funded by the Italian Ministry of Health. Brigadoi’s research activity covers a broad range of topics, both methodological and neuroscientific, most of them related to the development and application of optical techniques to study human brain development, brain functions, and its pathological alterations.







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