January 31, 2008

Cut the Risk of Cerebral Palsy in Premature Babies

The risk of cerebral palsy in premature babies can be cut by giving the mothers magnesium sulfate just before they give birth. The mineral compound is used already to treat pregnancy-related high blood pressure and to stop early labor. The mineral is cheap and not harmful.

Cerebral palsy is a serious condition and complication of premature babies. It is caused by damage to the part of the brain that controls movement. It would cause poor muscle control and coordination. It is not completely clear how magnesium sulfate words but it is assumed that it opens up the blood vessels in the infant’s brain. The mineral is also a sedative and can make the mothers and infants feel sleepy.

There also was a study that found that women that take folic acid for at least a year before they get pregnant could reduce their chances of premature birth by 50 to 70 percent. Taking folic acid is already recommended for women to prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord, such as spina bifada.

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