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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…

Cerebral Palsy: Environmental and Genetic Factors

Cerebral palsy is a diagnosis that varies in type and severity of neurodevelopmental outcomes. People with cerebral palsy have impaired motor function, and in some cases also have cognitive disabilities. Cerebral palsy can be caused by environmental and/or genetic factors. Environmental Causes of Cerebral Palsy Cerebral palsy can often be attributed to something that goes…

Hypothermia Therapy May Be Effective 6-24 Hours After Birth

Currently, the only available treatment for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), besides supportive care and therapy to mitigate the symptoms, is hypothermia therapy. This involves cooling a baby down to a below-normal temperature in order to allow the brain to recover from a hypoxic-ischemic injury and limit the spread of damage. Hypothermia therapy is known to reduce…

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…

Combination EPO and Hypothermia Therapy in Babies with HIE | Birth Injury Research Update

A new research paper released in Pediatrics examines the impact of administering high-dose erythropoietin (EPO) in conjunction with hypothermia therapy (brain cooling) for babies with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). The paper describes the result of Phase II clinical trials. Background: Hypothermia Therapy as the Standard of Care for Treating HIE The standard of care for…

Research Update: Increasing the Effectiveness of Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) Treatment

Brain research is an ongoing process, and, at the moment, hypothermia therapy (using a cooling cap, cooling pad, or cooling blanket) is the standard of care when it comes to hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Additive or supplemental measures in addition to hypothermia are still in preclinical or clinical trials, so it is too early to say…

Preventing Medical Errors in the NICU

According to the Journal of Patient Safety, preventable medical errors cause at least 210,000 deaths per year. Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease and cancer. Unfortunately, mistakes made in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) represent a significant part of those numbers. The Archives of Disease in…