Researchers in Sweden have found promise in studies of the use of certain enzymes to prevent brain cell death in infants who suffer certain types of birth injuries, according to an article in Science Daily.
Some types of birth injuries cause a condition called “asphyxia,” in which the infant’s brain does not get enough oxygen. Traditionally, infants with asphyxia are treated by cooling them down to decrease brain temperature and slow down cell damage. However, this technique only helps about one in every nine infants. Infants who don’t benefit from the cooling technique often suffer lifelong disabilities, including cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and mental retardation.
The new study indicates that medications that affect enzymes involved in the death of brain cells may be helpful in preventing brain damage in children with asphyxia. Versions of these drugs are already used to treat brain-damaging conditions in adults, including stroke and Alzheimer’s. Preliminary research indicates that combining enzyme-affecting medications with the traditional cooling technique may provide additional benefits that aren’t available if either type of therapy is used on its own.
However, researchers caution against simply giving infants medication meant for adults. In studies of mice, results showed that medications that helped adult mice actually made problems worse in infant mice, since an infant brain and an adult brain are vastly different. Instead, researchers urge more research to develop medications that will help protect an infant’s brain without causing additional damage.
At Page Law, our dedicated Franklin County medical malpractice lawyers can help you find out how a medical injury occurred and seek the compensation you need. For a free consultation, call us today at (314) 322-8515.