Aylesbury family participate in 'pioneering' Covid research after pregnancy scare

A family from Aylesbury has signed up to participate in ‘pioneering’ research studying the effects of Covid exposure on babies.

By James Lowson
Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 12:13 pm

Laura and James have put their son Bradley forward for a national study investigating the impact of exposure to the disease at birth or in the womb.

Laura became unwell when she was seven months pregnant with Bradley and went on to experience complications at birth.

Now Bradley is two, she wanted him to participate in the programme so other parents can better understand the impacts of Covid.

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The family from Aylesbury taking part

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She told The Bucks Herald: “Firstly, I was keen to be involved because when I had covid there was no research into the possible impacts on my baby.

"The more that is known the better. I hope the findings of this study can both inform me of possible things to look out for with Bradley’s development.

"In addition as we learn to live with covid we can help inform other women who find themselves pregnant with covid in the future. Secondly, with the limited health visitor contacts during the pandemic I was keen to know how Bradley was developing.”

Laura, James, and Bradley

Not-for-profit organisation, Action Medical Research, has funded the programme.

The study investigates whether exposure to Covid affects the development of babies brain’s, which can be the case with other infections.

It can be accessed here, and was led by the University of Bristol in collaboration with researchers from the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU) at the University of Oxford, Imperial College London, and University of Leicester.

Bradley is one of 257 participants

Experts are comparing the brains of those exposed to Covid like Bradley, with children who were not.

Overall, 257 infants have enrolled in the study which is ongoing until October.

A questionnaire is used by experts to assess a child’s developmental progress, another study looks at infants’ patterns of wheezing and other respiratory symptoms.

The study aims to discover more about the short and long term effects of Covid exposure.

Dr Caroline Johnston, senior research manager at Action Medical Research said: “Action Medical Research has been at the forefront of funding pioneering research, including the research which led to the development of the polio vaccine. We understand the devastating impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on all people, particularly children. We are committed to funding research that ultimately will improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people.”