The placenta is arguably the least studied of all human organs and tissues. Each one of us comes into the world attached to one: the lifeline that supplies oxygen and nutrients from the mother’s blood, and which removes carbon dioxide and other wastes via the same route. In most cases, the placenta does what it’s expected to do, and few of us give it any thought.
Analysis of long term NIH-funded study shows health benefits more than 30 years later
Processes thought to underlie Alzheimer’s symptoms in individuals with Down syndrome, others
Obesity, it appears, has something in common with smoking: once the pattern is established, it’s difficult to change. A new study shows that children who are overweight or obese as 5 year olds are more likely to be obese as adolescents. Other studies have shown that obese adolescents tend to become obese adults. Thus, it appears that, if a child is obese at age 5, chances are high that child will become an obese adult.
Ahead, the NICHD has embarked on an exciting new collaboration with other Institutes here at the National Institutes of Health to find novel ways to understand, prevent, and treat a wide array of birth defects affecting body parts and structure. Glancing back, I’d like to recount the great strides we’ve made against neural tube defects, a group of sometimes devastating conditions affecting the brain and spinal cord.
NICHD has helped organize a coalition of global health organizations to set a research agenda for tackling the problem of preterm birth.
At the NICHD, we are awaiting the analysis from a review panel of the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, of our plans for a bold effort to identify the myriad connections between environment, genes, and human health: the National Children’s Study.