Magnesium Sulphate Help Protect Against Cerebral Palsy
(BlackDoctor.org) — Doctors that give pregnant women magnesium sulphate could reduce the risk of a preterm birth of a child with cerebral palsy, according to an international review of research involving the University of Adelaide, Australia.
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).