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Prenatal magnesium sulphate cuts risk of cerebral palsy

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7071.1505 (Published 14 December 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1505

Giving magnesium sulphate during pregnancy to women at risk of delivering very low birth weight babies reduces the risk of the offspring developing cerebral palsy and mental retardation, according to a study published this week.

American researchers followed up developmental outcome in over 500 very low birth weight babies (less than 1500 g) born in the metropolitan area of Atlanta who survived infancy. Infant mortality was also investigated in an additional group of 1097 very low birth weight babies born in Georgia over a two year period (JAMA 1996;276:1805-10).

Hospital medical records were checked to see if mothers had been given magnesium sulphate before delivery. Dr Diana Schendel, from the division of birth defects and developmental disabilities at the Centers for Disease Control …

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