Magnesium Sulfate Cuts Infant's Cerebral Palsy Risk
Magnesium sulfate is found to halt cerebral palsy among early born infants.
A team of researchers from University of Alabama at Birmingham examined 2241 pregnant women, in relation to Magnesium sulfate, who were at risk of preterm labor. The women were from 24 to 31 weeks of gestation and were prescribed to take either magnesium sulfate or a placebo. The women at risk were given 6 grams of magnesium intravenously during the early labor time, then they were receiving 2 grams once an hour. Regularly receiving the treatment for 12 hours, women even managed to stop early delivery or gave birth.
Later, researchers followed the newborns to measure the risk of cerebral palsy and found that those infants whose mothers took magnesium sulfate were about 50% less likely to suffer the infection.
Cerebral palsy is very common among early born infants: 1 out of 3 cases occur among preterm birth infants. The infection affects baby's brain and leads to damaged movement control. Magnesium sulfate is generally being given right at the time when early delivery starts and sometimes it manages to stop early labor because it is known to lower maternal high blood pressure.
Researchers don't exactly know how magnesium sulfate affects cerebral palsy risk, but they suspect that it stabilizes brain vessels of the infant and make it less vulnerable to infection.
Magnesium sulfate and cerebral palsy were suspected to be linked, but previous researches have not been statistically significant. This study is more evident, but still it is not enough to recommend magnesium sulfate as a preventive therapy. In some cases doctors may prescribe it individually, but the treatment should not be taken without consulting a doctor.