(RxWiki News) The use of magnesium sulfate (Mg) in rats was shown to significantly reduce neonatal brain injury associated with maternal inflammation or maternal infection.
Previous studies had shown magnesium sulfate may prevent cerebral palsy in anticipated preterm births, which prompted the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine to issue an opinion promoting magnesium sulfate last year.
Researcher Ron Beloosesky, M.D., one of the study's authors, said he and cohorts wanted to learn more about the protective effects of magnesium sulfate in cases where maternal inflammation may cause preterm birth.
Utilizing Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), a very sensitive diffusion-tensor imaging, researchers were able to study how magnesium sulfate works and found treatment significantly reduced evidence of neonatal brain injury associated with maternal inflammation in pregnant rats.
Beloosesky said the next step is for researchers to determine exactly how magnesium sulfate works and protects fetal brains.
Cerebral palsy is comprised of a group of non-progressive disorders that can impair certain brain and nervous-system functions. Symptoms range from mild to severe and include muscle weakness, unsteady gait, floppy muscles and loss of coordination.