The findings of this review – published today on the international research website The Cochrane Library – could help decrease the incidence of this disabling condition, which affects one in 500 newborn babies overall and one in 10 very premature babies (less than 28 weeks gestation).
Magnesium sulphate therapy involves giving doses of magnesium sulphate to pregnant women via injection.
The potential for magnesium sulphate to decrease the risk of cerebral palsy in babies was first proposed in the early 1990s. The new Cochrane review, which supports this suggestion, was carried out by leading researchers from Australia (University of Melbourne and University of Adelaide), France (University Hospital, Rouen) and the United States (University of Alabama).
The review involved data from 6145 babies included in five trials of antenatal magnesium sulphate therapy.
"For infants born very premature, there is a high risk of cerebral palsy," says one of the researchers, Professor Caroline Crowther, Director of the University of Adelaide's Australian Research Centre for Health of Women and Babies (ARCH).
"This new Cochrane review shows there is now evidence to support giving magnesium sulphate therapy to women at risk of very preterm birth to increase their unborn baby's chance of survival, free of cerebral palsy."
The exact mechanism of magnesium sulphate in protecting the developing brain is not certain. However, magnesium is vital for normal cell function, may protect against destructive molecules that can harm cells, and in some circumstances improves blood flow.
Side effects of the treatment include flushing, sweating, nausea, vomiting, headaches and palpitations. However, the researchers found no increase in major complications in mothers due to magnesium therapy.
"Given the positive findings of the Cochrane review, further studies will need to be conducted to clarify exactly how magnesium sulphate works as a neuroprotective agent, who should receive the medication and how best the treatment should be given," Professor Crowther says.
Prof Caroline Crowther | EurekAlert!
Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin
Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy