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Predicting Neurodevelopmental Outcome Through Maternal Hair

Philip Baker from the University of Aukland in New Zealand will determine whether the presence of specific metabolites in a mother's hair during pregnancy can be used as an early marker of defective neurodevelopment in the child. Early diagnosis of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism could lead to better treatment. Because hair stably incorporates chemical compounds, they will use samples of maternal hair from a previous study to search for metabolic markers such as fatty acids and amino acids that may correlate with subsequent developmental defects in the infants. The resulting predictive algorithm will be validated in a new study of over 1000 pregnant women from Malawi and Western China.

More information about Explore New Ways to Measure Fetal and Infant Brain Development (Round 13)

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.