Research update:   Brain blood flow in children born preterm.

An insight provided by Dr Max Berry.

First of all I would like to say a huge thank you to all of the families, and especially the children who came to take part in this study.  It’s a big ask to come in and help us out – and we really appreciate it!

So, what did the study show? Well, we started with the question ‘is brain blood flow controlled differently in children born prematurely?’. The reason we need to ask this is to better understand the impact of preterm birth on all aspects of health. Answering questions like this is essential to help us work towards better and better long-term outcomes for our NICU graduates.

Jacob Bailey being monitoredIt’s also worth saying that studies like this highlight the great team we have in Wellington with clinicians, scientists, the NICU and Neonatal Trust as well as the wider community working together. This means we are able to do studies that, to the best of our knowledge, have not been done anywhere else in the world before.

We were able to get enough children to take part in the study, which means we can now start to look at the data and try and understand it. There is still a lot of complex analysis that needs to be done, but the first look suggests that yes, children born preterm do have subtle differences in the way that blood flow to the brain is regulated. A lot more work needs to be done to fully understand what these data are showing us. As we start to understand the implications of these results, we will be sharing them with our scientific and medical colleagues as well as with our NICU community.  We will keep you posted! 

The image to the right shows Jacob Bailey during the brain blood flow tests. 

The Little Miracles Trust will continue to provide more updates as they become available.

The Little Miracles Trusts’ support of research is made possible by all those who help us. In particular, the work of Dr Max Berry has been supported by:



Neonatal care is a comparatively fledgling clinical field. We support research so that the care delivered is enhanced and the long term consequences of prematurity are better understood.

Dr Max Berry is a Consultant Neonatologist with The Capital & Coast District Health Board and a Senior Lecturer in Paediatrics & Child Health at The University of Otago, Wellington. 
The Little Miracles Trust is proud to have provided funding to Dr Max Berry and her team’s research efforts since 2013. The work is already making a difference in the current care of neonatal babies and importantly it promises to provide further insights to help future babies. The funding of the research is entirely consistent with The Little Miracles Trust’s objective ‘to aid neonatal-related medical research’.
In addition, as the clinical changes are introduced and also as part of general business, new equipment may be required. The Little Miracles Trust’s funding of equipment for NICUs allows for the ongoing and enhanced care and monitoring of neonatal babies. Some of this equipment support is achieved with the help of Corporate and Grant Partners and it’s our privilege to work with them to facilitate and manage this fundraising and the subsequent puchases. 


Other articles relating to neonatal research:

Neonatal research overview, March 2015

ICAPs support helps research

Over and above research, you can also see other examples of how we help