The complexity of the brain has always been a puzzle to mankind. In their effort of solving the puzzle scientist came across some factors that could give an answer to what prevents brain damage repair in premature babies and therefore treat prematurity. Besides this, they have found key factors that prevent brain damage repair in neurological diseases like multiple sclerosis. Scientist found a link between damage to white matter in the brain connected with premature birth and damage to immature cells in the brain and spinal cord, called oligodendrocyte progenitors.
The function of these cells is to make myelin that surrounds nerve fibers in the brain and nerve cord. In order to do so these cells need to mature and become oligodendrocytes. Sometimes it happens that the cells fail to mature and therefore cannot repair damage to the white matter of the brain.
Cerebral palsy and learning problems in children born prematurely and multiple sclerosis in adults are caused by different kinds of white matter injury.
It has been said that hyaluronic acid (HA) is the one who prevents immature oligodendrocytes from maturing and coating nerve fibers with new myelin. HA, which accumulates on nerve fibers where myelin is missing, is produced by the astrocytes, the first-responders to nerve damage.
Scientist are hoping that these finding will help in inventing new ways of preventing brain damage and improving lives of many premature infants who often suffer from cerebral palsy, mental retardation, chronic lung disease, blindness and hearing loss.