December 29, 2003
Prevents Cerebral Palsy?
HILL, N.C. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Research shows babies who are
born premature are more likely to develop cerebral palsy than
babies born at a normal weight. But a drug commonly used to delay
premature labor may also help prevent CP.
So far, life is good
for Milele L.K. Bynum’s 22-month-old twins. She says: “They’re
doing great. They’re very healthy, very happy children.”
But they got off to
a rough start. They were born nearly three months early. Milele
knew babies born that premature faced the risk of neurological
damage and possibly cerebral palsy. “And it was definitely
scary. You want your children to be born healthy and happy, and
you feel like you have no control over it,” she tells Ivanhoe.
But doctors gave Milele magnesium sulfate when she was in the
hospital. It’s been used for decades to delay labor, but
studies now show it may have an added benefit for premature babies.
“There are some
observational data to suggest that magnesium might be able to
protect newborn brains from cerebral palsy,” says gynecologist
John Thorp, M.D., of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
in Chapel Hill. If a current study confirms that, more mothers
could receive magnesium to prevent CP in their preemies. Dr. Thorp
says, “And it’s cheap, simple, available in labor
and deliveries throughout the world.”
The more premature
a baby is, the higher the risk of CP. Extremely low-birth weight
babies -- weighing less than 2.2 pounds -- have a risk that’s
at least 70-times higher than normal birth weight babies.
Milele believes the
magnesium she received in the hospital is at least partly responsible
for the fact that her twins are maturing normally. “I have
faith that it did, and I’m going to believe that,”
While magnesium has
some minor side effects, including hot flashes and nausea, doctors
say it is safe for both mothers and their babies.
article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts
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