A simple treatment for women who go into premature labor can dramatically cut the risk for cerebral palsy in their babies. New research shows when mothers receive an infusion of magnesium sulfate - otherwise known as Epsom salt - it reduces the odds of moderate to severe cerebral palsy in their babies by nearly half.
Currently one third of all cases of cerebral palsy are linked to premature birth. But doctors have discovered a simple but effective treatment that lowers the risk for this neurological disorder in premature infants. Researchers at medical centers across America studied more than 2200 pregnant women who had signs of very early labor.
Around half the women received intravenous infusions of magnesium sulfate- also known as Epsom salt - while the other half received a placebo infusion. Results showed that babies whose mothers received the Epsom salt cut their risk for moderate to severe cerebral palsy by 45 percent. Doctors theorize that the treatment helps stabilize blood vessels in the mother, thereby keeping oxygen supplied to the baby's brain.
The authors say these findings represent one of the most promising breakthroughs in 30 years for pregnant women at high risk for premature delivery. FDA approval is not necessary for magnesium sulfate treatment, so doctors could begin using it immediately.
Source: Published in the New England Journal of Medicine by researchers at U Alabama, U Tennessee, Wayne State, U Texas, UNC Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, U Miami, Case Western, U Pittsburgh and others.
When I went into preterm labor with my youngest, I was on magnesium for several days. It was scary! My mag was to stop labor. I didn't realize there was more than one benefit.
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