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This presentation will examine the profound effect the in vitro environment has on fetal neurodevelopment. Insults to the fetus during pregnancy can disrupt neurodevelopmental processes culminating in neurochemical and behavioural abnormalities. A growing body of evidence supports a role for maternal infection in precipitating neuropsychiatric disease in offspring (e.g. bipolar, autism, schizophrenia). Since ~60% of pregnancies globally are at risk of malaria infection annually, we examined the impact of in utero exposure to malaria in pregnancy (MIP) as a model for infections in pregnancy and how they may be neglected but modifiable risk factors for mental illness. This allows a perspective to move from from costly treatment to prevention.
By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
- Identify the life long impact of infections during pregnancy
- Recognize how many “non-communicable” diseases may have their origins in preventable infections during pregnancy
- Describe new diagnostic approaches and interventions to prevent adverse birth outcomes and neurological injury in infants
Presenter: Dr. Kevin Kain
Dr. Kain is a Professor of Medicine and holds a Canada Research Chair. His research focuses on global maternal –child health and gender equality. He is the recipient of the “C. Woolf Award for Excellence in Teaching”, a “Career Scientist Award” from the Ministry of Health, the “Bailey Ashford Medal” from the American Society for Tropical Medicine, for “Distinguished Work in Tropical Medicine”, and the “SL Medal” (from Mahidol University, Bangkok) for “Outstanding Achievements and Leadership in Malaria Research”. Dr Kain was profiled by TIME magazine as one of “Canada’s Best in Medicine”. Publications: >320; h-index=72.
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