Babies needed to help with colic research

00:00, Jul 26 2013

Young babies are needed for a Massey University study into the cause of post-natal colic.

The study, being completed by professor Roger Lentle, associate professor Gordon Reynolds, and research technician Peta Larsen, will determine if electrogastrography - an electrical measuring procedure - can detect colic.

Miss Larsen said researchers needed about 60 healthy babies under 4 months old, and 60 similar-aged with feeding difficulties or restlessness after feeding.

It is preferred the babies have been breastfed.

"It's to find a better understanding of colic and where it originates from because there isn't much information about what causes it," she said. "It's thought it could be food allergies or breathing in air but we think it is underlying dysrhythmia in the stomach.

"The stomach normally makes three contractions per minute but with colicky babies it's either going too slow or too fast."


Ms Larsen said participating babies would be tested in their own homes.

The baby would have three to five small electrodes stuck on to their stomach to measure activity immediately after feeding.

The electrodes would remain on the baby while it sleeps for a 2 -hour recording period.

The process would be repeated after a week and any abnormalities would be presented to parents for them to consult with their GP.

Miss Larsen said the study was an extension on a similar study done in 2010 but more research was needed.

"If . . . it is dysrhythmia, the electrogastrography could be used as a simple non-invasive test," she said. "And further down the track, after more research, there could be more out of this."

Contact Peta Larsen at the Massey University Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health.

Manawatu Standard