Small But Mighty: Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) from Placenta May Offer Major Clues to In Utero Development of Neurobehavioral Disorders

For 30 years, Cheryl Rosenfeld has studied how biological information gets transferred from mothers to babies during pregnancy. The research is personal for Rosenfeld, whose niece, Sara, was exposed to sedative drugs in utero. Although the little girl was born healthy, she started developing respiratory, neurological, and other health issues in her teenage years. “While I can’t reverse what was done to my niece, Sara, I can try to prevent similar things from happening to other children by learning more about how biological information gets transported during pregnancy,” said Rosenfeld, a Professor of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. “The sooner we can identify abnormalities in fetal brain development, the sooner we can diagnose the potential for disorders to surface later in the baby’s life.”

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