Problematic research on human brain development

This 2013 UK human study provided details of the growths of infants’ cerebral and limbic system structures. With 55 of the 65 infants in the study born prematurely, the UK researchers found:

“Rapidly developing cortical microstructure is vulnerable to the effects of premature birth, suggesting a mechanism for the adverse effects of preterm delivery on cognitive function.”

The infants’ first set of measurements were taken from 27 to 46 weeks after birth. Follow-up measurements were taken when the infants were two years old.

Only the politically-correct adverse effects on brain development were included in the study, which led to the researchers making only politically-correct findings. Is this what we want from publicly funded scientific research?

  • Although 40 of the 65 infants experienced Caesarian deliveries, no attempt was made by the researchers to study any effects on brain development of their delivery method, an omission presumably due to the political incorrectness of suggesting any adverse effects to non-vaginal deliveries.
  • Similarly disregarded for analysis were the effects on brain development in 14 infants of preeclampsia, a serious complication of pregnancy associated with the development of high blood pressure and protein in the urine.
  • Also disregarded for analysis were the effects on brain development in 13 infants of chorioamnionitis, a condition in pregnant women in which the membranes that surround the fetus and the amniotic fluid are infected by bacteria.

Further, was this all we should expect from the peer review process? The data was presumably there for the reviewers to go back to the researchers and suggest analysis of something other than the predetermined agenda.

http://www.pnas.org/content/110/23/9541.full “Development of cortical microstructure in the preterm human brain”

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