Thursday, 23 November 2017

Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia

 Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia is a disease that affects babies in which the platelet count is decreased Platelet antigens are inherited from both mother and father. NAIT is caused by antibodies specific for platelet antigens inherited from the father but which are absent in the mother.  Fetomaternal transfusions (or fetomaternal hemorrhage) results in the recognition of these antigens by the mother's immune system as non-self, with the subsequent generation of allo-reactive antibodies which cross the placenta. NAIT, hence, is caused by transplacental passage of maternal platelet-specific alloantibody and rarely human leukocyte antigenn (HLA) allo-antibodies (which are expressed by platelets) to fetuses whose platelets express the corresponding antigens. NAIT occurs in somewhere between 1/800 and 1/5000 live births. More recent studies of NAIT seem to indicate that it occurs in around 1/600 live births in the Caucasian population.

 Today we met a 5 year old little boy and his parents for their initial assessment for the Snowdrop programme. The little one had suffered brain injury through neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia, which had caused cerebral bleeding and hydrocephalus. His visual abilities are almost completely absent, but he does understand some language, (but only produces a few words). He experiences tactile hypersensitivity and is constantly producing self-stimulatory vestibular behaviours. His left side limbs are very weak and his left hand is hardly used. Looking forward to getting him started and seeing what we can achieve

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