12 March 2016, By Mater Lotteries
Helping protect the health of premature babies
0 min read
Mater researchers are conducting studies into magnesium sulphate therapy to reduce the risk of cerebral palsy in premature babies, thanks to supporters like you.
Almost 1 in 10 babies are born preterm, many of whom will face life-long disabilities. But a newly completed Mater Research study is giving hope to parents through a simple treatment to protect these vulnerable babies from disability—using magnesium sulphate.
Principle investigator and Mater researcher Associate Professor Paul Dawson said “this is the first study in the world to show that preterm babies rapidly become sulphate deficient, unless the mother has received magnesium sulphate.”
“Sulphate is an important nutrient for healthy growth and development and is supplied from mother to baby during pregnancy. Infants born at full-term are able to make sulphate, but infants born preterm have not yet developed the mechanisms to do this,” Associate Professor Dawson said.
The study suggests that sulphate may be an important nutrient for reducing the risk of cerebral palsy and other neurological developmental issues.
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