Johns Hopkins Children's Center Surgeon-in-Chief David Hackam discusses his latest research paper, Toll-like Receptor 4 Mediated Enteric Glia Loss is Critical for the Development of Necrotizing Enterocolitis.
Yeah, my name is David Hack. Um and I'm the chief of pediatric surgery and the surgeon in chief of the johns Hopkins Children's Center, our study focuses on a disease called necrotizing colitis or any c it's a terrible condition that affects premature infants. And often the first time families will have ever heard of this disease is when their very own kid is actually affected by it. This is a disease that affects preemies in such a serious way. What typically happens is babies are doing fine in the icu. They may be feeding and then out of the blue they get terribly sick, their bellies become distended, they start passing stool down below and within 24 hours there either dying or dead. And his pediatric surgeons were often called to operate on these Children occasionally when they're at their sickest. And as you can imagine, many of these Children don't do very well. And there's a real need to understand the causes of this disease and to identify novel treatments for it. And that's where our study comes in. The basics of our study are as follows. We notice that in many, many kids that develop this condition, one of the first things that happens is their bellies become distended and they start to vomit something that we call an alias or failure of the intestine to actually work. And many people have thought that the belly becomes distended because of this disease. And yet because this distention happens before disease occurs, we thought that maybe the distension actually leads to the disease in the first place. And so in a series of studies we showed that when the intestine stops functioning, it actually leads to this disease by causing something called inflammation in the lining of the intestine. We further went on to show that if we could actually reduce this distension and we could find ways to kick start the intestine, these this disease would actually be prevented. And as a result of these studies that were performed in mice, in piglets and inhuman samples, we identified a new drug, which we called J 11 that acts to prevent and even treat neck by kick starting the intestines, uh, motor function and treating the symptoms and ultimately the progression of this devastating illness. Yeah.