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author:("popoff, Paola")
1.  Safety and efficacy of topiramate in neonates with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy treated with hypothermia (NeoNATI) 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:144.
Background
Despite progresses in neonatal care, the mortality and the incidence of neuro-motor disability after perinatal asphyxia have failed to show substantial improvements. In countries with a high level of perinatal care, the incidence of asphyxia responsible for moderate or severe encephalopathy is still 2–3 per 1000 term newborns. Recent trials have demonstrated that moderate hypothermia, started within 6 hours after birth and protracted for 72 hours, can significantly improve survival and reduce neurologic impairment in neonates with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. It is not currently known whether neuroprotective drugs can further improve the beneficial effects of hypothermia. Topiramate has been proven to reduce brain injury in animal models of neonatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. However, the association of mild hypothermia and topiramate treatment has never been studied in human newborns. The objective of this research project is to evaluate, through a multicenter randomized controlled trial, whether the efficacy of moderate hypothermia can be increased by concomitant topiramate treatment.
Methods/Design
Term newborns (gestational age ≥ 36 weeks and birth weight ≥ 1800 g) with precocious metabolic, clinical and electroencephalographic (EEG) signs of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy will be randomized, according to their EEG pattern, to receive topiramate added to standard treatment with moderate hypothermia or standard treatment alone. Topiramate will be administered at 10 mg/kg once a day for the first 3 days of life. Topiramate concentrations will be measured on serial dried blood spots. 64 participants will be recruited in the study. To evaluate the safety of topiramate administration, cardiac and respiratory parameters will be continuously monitored. Blood samplings will be performed to check renal, liver and metabolic balance. To evaluate the efficacy of topiramate, the neurologic outcome of enrolled newborns will be evaluated by serial neurologic and neuroradiologic examinations. Visual function will be evaluated by means of behavioural standardized tests.
Discussion
This pilot study will explore the possible therapeutic role of topiramate in combination with moderate hypothermia. Any favourable results of this research might open new perspectives about the reduction of cerebral damage in asphyxiated newborns.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN62175998; ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT01241019; EudraCT Number 2010-018627-25
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-12-144
PMCID: PMC3478965  PMID: 22950861
Neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy; Therapeutic hypothermia; Topiramate
2.  Gut Microbial Translocation in Critically Ill Children and Effects of Supplementation with Pre- and Pro Biotics 
Bacterial translocation as a direct cause of sepsis is an attractive hypothesis that presupposes that in specific situations bacteria cross the intestinal barrier, enter the systemic circulation, and cause a systemic inflammatory response syndrome. Critically ill children are at increased risk for bacterial translocation, particularly in the early postnatal age. Predisposing factors include intestinal obstruction, obstructive jaundice, intra-abdominal hypertension, intestinal ischemia/reperfusion injury and secondary ileus, and immaturity of the intestinal barrier per se. Despite good evidence from experimental studies to support the theory of bacterial translocation as a cause of sepsis, there is little evidence in human studies to confirm that translocation is directly correlated to bloodstream infections in critically ill children. This paper provides an overview of the gut microflora and its significance, a focus on the mechanisms employed by bacteria to gain access to the systemic circulation, and how critical illness creates a hostile environment in the gut and alters the microflora favoring the growth of pathogens that promote bacterial translocation. It also covers treatment with pre- and pro biotics during critical illness to restore the balance of microbial communities in a beneficial way with positive effects on intestinal permeability and bacterial translocation.
doi:10.1155/2012/151393
PMCID: PMC3426218  PMID: 22934115

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