A new US study shows that magnesium sulfate halves the number of babies born with cerebral palsy from mothers at risk of premature birth, reports Medical News Today.
The authors of the study said that doctors can begin to prevent cerebral palsy by administering this drug that does not need approval because it is already being used to prevent preterm birth.
The researchers looked at 2,241 women diagnosed as having the potential for preterm birth between weeks 24 and 31. The women either received a magnesium sulphate injection or a placebo.
The infusions started right after the labor started. If the birth did not occur within 12 hours, the infusion was stopped and started later when the woman showed signs that the birth was approaching.
The results showed that there was no difference in infant mortality between the group taking magnesium sulfate and the group taking placebo. Also, the data show that moderate or severe cerebral palsy appeared twice less in the group given magnesium sulfate than in the placebo group.
February 1, 2008