29.10.2017

CIBR seminar: 3.11.2017 Professor Kai Kaila (HY)

CIBR is very happy to have  Academy professor Kai Kaila (University of Helsinki) to give a talk at CIBR seminar.  The talk is titled  “Life is unfair: birth stress can lead to permanent psychiatric and neurological disorders”. 

Time: 14:00-15:00 
Place: L302 (Keskussairaalantie 4).

Prof. Kaila  is one of the most merited neuroscientists in Finland.  His research covers wide range of topics from molecular biology to systems level neurophysiology. Recently he has made significant advances in translational research aiming for preventing and treatment of disorders related to early brain development. He currently holds an ERC advanced grant for the project "Arginine vasopressin and ion transporters in the modulation of brain excitability during birth and birth asphyxia seizures".

ABSTRACT “Life is unfair: birth stress can lead to permanent psychiatric and neurological disorders”

The transition from placental to lung-based oxygen supply at mammalian birth involves an obligatory period of asphyxia, which can be further aggravated by complications during delivery. This oxygen deprivation is a major threat to the fetal brain: annually, four million babies die at birth because of severe birth asphyxia. The survivors, who outnumber the former by at least 1-2 orders of magnitude, suffer from a wide spectrum of psychiatric and neurological disorders.  During both normal and complicated delivery, a number of protective hormonal and cardiovascular mechanisms are activated in the fetus to enhance brain perfusion. Our recent work demonstrates an intrinsic mechanism in the fetal brain, whereby arginine vasopressin (AVP) activates hippocampal interneurons, leading to desynchronization and suppression of neuronal network activity in species (rat and guinea pig) which are born at widely different stages of brain maturation. Silencing of synchronous neuronal activity by vasopressin is expected to decrease neuronal energy demand and prevent maladaptive synaptic plasticity, thus acting as a pan-mammalian neuroprotective mechanism during birth. In my talk, I will discuss the use of copeptin, an inert part of prepro-AVP, as a promising diagnostic and prognostic biomarker of birth asphyxia. In a wider perspective, it is obvious that investments into research on and novel therapies of CNS diseases will have a particularly high impact when done early in life.