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!
Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University
Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München
On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.
On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
27.02.2017 | Materials Sciences
27.02.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research
27.02.2017 | Life Sciences