The Unrecognized Warzone: Addressing PTSD in NICU Parents

It is well known that returning soldiers often develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a condition marked by flashbacks to a trauma, hyperalertness, avoidance of situations that trigger upsetting memories, and negative emotions such as guilt or shame. However, fewer people know that parents commonly experience similar symptoms after their babies stay in the neonatal intensive…

New Treatment for Cerebral Palsy: M2 Macrophage Transplantation Improves Motor and Cognitive Function

Cell transplantation is a promising new avenue for treating cerebral palsy (CP). Previous research has shown that stem cell therapy can help children with cerebral palsy; a study published this month indicates that treatment with macrophages may also be effective.  Essentially, macrophages are cells that can repair damaged brain tissue and blood vessels, thereby enhancing…

Large Head Circumference At Birth Increases Risk of White Matter Damage and Cerebral Palsy

One of the major risk factors for cerebral palsy (CP) is damage to the brain’s white matter. In preterm infants, white matter damage often stems from asphyxia (oxygen deprivation), but in term infants the cause of damage may occasionally be difficult to determine. However, new research by Arne Jensen and Bert Holmer, published in Obstetrics…

U.S. Disability Rights Advances and Setbacks: 2017 Year in Review

January 17th: Future Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos shows lack of knowledge about the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) During her confirmation hearing for education secretary, Betsy DeVos frustrated many special education advocates by stating that enforcement of the federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which requires public schools to provide “free appropriate…

Improving Neurological Outcomes of HIE: Monosialoganglioside Treatment

Thus far, the most effective medical intervention for infants with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is hypothermia therapy, or cooling treatment. When administered very shortly after birth or the oxygen-depriving incident, this therapy can reverse brain damage and minimize (or in some cases prevent) permanent harm. However, hypothermia therapy is not always effective, and additional solutions for…

National Survey Reveals 21% of Americans Have Personally Experienced a Medical Error

The IHI/NPSF Lucian Leape Institute and NORC at the University of Chicago recently released the results of a survey on medical errors, with a nationally-representative sample of over 2,500 American adults. Distressingly, 21% of their participants reported having personally experienced a medical error, and 31% had been involved in the care of a family member…

Hypothermia Therapy Shortly After Birth Reduces Risk of Epilepsy

Babies that have sustained oxygen-depriving injuries (perinatal asphyxia) during the birthing process can benefit greatly from prompt administration of hypothermia therapy. Cooling an injured newborn to a below-normal temperature can give brain cells a chance to repair themselves, which stops the damage from spreading and becoming permanent. Hypothermia therapy can prevent or decrease the severity…