Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Prematurity and preventing brain injuries

Pennsylvania parents may be interested to learn about a recent study that shows administering certain medications can help prevent the occurrence of permanent brain injuries in infants who are born prematurely. The study demonstrated that a neurotransmitter helps to prevent brain injuries and abnormalities from occurring following a premature birth.

Researchers at the Children's Research Institute looked at regulating the levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter which has been demonstrated in prior studies to exist in significantly lower amounts in the brains of premature infants. In their study, they used available medications that are normally prescribed for the treatment of epilepsy as they are known to regulate GABA levels.

According to the study's author, the research demonstrated that the administration of these medications changed the development of certain progenitor cells which are important to aid normal brain development. They believe that further study is needed to look at utilizing the plasticity of the newborn's brain during critical brain development phases in order to prevent brain injuries. In the United States, 12 percent of all babies that are born are premature, and the rate of associated neurological problems has increased along with the better survival rates.

The study is good news, as many premature infants will suffer a brain injury due to their premature birth. In the event that an infant suffers a brain injury after being born prematurely, the parents may want to seek a consultation with a medical malpractice attorney. An attorney may be able to review the medical documentation in the infant's case to determine if medical malpractice may have been involved, and if so, the attorney can assist in the pursuit of appropriate compensation for the damages that have been incurred.

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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