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New Study Suggests Electrical Stimuli may Reduce Scoliosis in Children with Severe Cerebral Palsy

A new study out of South Korea suggests that external electrical stimulus treatment may help reduce scoliosis and manage its impact in children with severe cerebral palsy. Published in the journal Disability and Rehabilitation, the pilot study included 11 children ages 3 to 15 that were unable to undergo surgical correction of their spines. The patients received two hour-long sessions of electrical pulses per day for three months. Researchers observed that after treatment 64% of the children achieved a 5-degree-or-more improvement in the curvature of their spines. While additional studies addressing the safety and efficacy of this type of treatment are needed, the study’s authors believe that electrical stimulus treatment “is effective in scoliosis in children with severe CP and it may improve trunk balance.”

Clinical Trial Started for Drug Designed to Prevent Preterm Birth

Preterm birth can lead to an increased risk of birth injuries or conditions such as cerebral palsy. Swiss biopharma company ObsEva has started a proof-of-concept clinical trial of its compound OBE022 to test the compound’s ability to prevent or delay premature births. In the trial, women who start labor at 24 to 34 weeks pregnant will receive OBE222 for seven days, in addition to a standard labor-suppressing drug regimen. The trial team will monitor the expectant mothers until delivery, and both the mothers and babies for four weeks after birth. Infants will then be monitored for two years. Researchers will evaluate the therapy’s safety as well as the drug’s effectiveness in preventing preterm birth.

Study: Magnesium Sulfate Reduces Risk of Cerebral Palsy in Preterm Babies

Joint research from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and France suggests that magnesium sulfate may prevent cerebral palsy in newborns if taken by mothers at risk of preterm birth (birth occurring before 37 weeks gestation). The study also contends that the chemical compound may reduce the combined risk of fetal/infant death or cerebral palsy.

In the study, nearly 5,500 women and their babies took part in 5 randomized trials. The researchers concluded that benefits from the magnesium sulfate were seen regardless of the reason for preterm birth, and that similar effects were observed across a range of preterm gestational ages and different treatment regimens. The team also opined that the substance has neuroprotective benefits, is relatively inexpensive, is easy to administer, and could lead to important health benefits for premature babies if adopted worldwide.

5 in 1,000 English Babies Sustain Brain Injury at Birth, Study Finds

In December 2017, researchers at Imperial College London and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust reported that approximately 5 out of every 1,000 live births in England sustain an injury to the brain. The study assessed 3,418 births between 2010 and 2015 with conditions linked to brain injuries. The research results also suggest that the brain injury rate is nearly seven times higher among premature infants compared to full-term infants. Trauma, specifically events that deprive the brain of oxygen, before, during, or after birth may lead to long-term conditions including cerebral palsy, hearing or vision loss, and learning problems. “The next step is to use routine data to understand the long-term effects of these conditions on the children and their families,” concluded Chris Gale, the study’s lead author and clinical senior lecturer at Imperial College.

If your child is affected by cerebral palsy as a result of malpractice, call us at 877-262-9767 to discuss your situation.

Study Suggests Therapeutic Hypothermia May Decrease Disability in Newborns with Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy

A randomized clinical trial published in The Journal of the American Medical Association analyzed the therapeutic benefits of body cooling (hypothermia) after 6 hours of age in newborns with moderate hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy—a disorder caused by a brain injury. The study encompassed data from 21 U.S. Neonatal Research Network Centers and concluded that disability or death at 18 to 22 months occurred in 24.4% of newborns that underwent hypothermia—3.5% less than those in the group that did not undergo cooling. The study focused on therapeutic hypothermia applied between 6 and 24 hours after birth and the findings suggest benefits for term infants by reducing the risk of death or disability.

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