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Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

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Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

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Brain Injury News and Research - Prevention

Brain injury at birth and during childhood is relatively common. Depending on its severity, it can have a serious impact on the life of an individual.

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This is one of the reasons why a lot of research has been done to identify the best prevention methods.

A number of publications that have come out over the past few years describe the research and the new approaches towards the prevention of brain injury. Here are a few of the possibilities.

Cerebral Hypothermia for Brain Injury Prevention

Cerebral hypothermia has long been considered one of the most powerful and promising approaches when it comes to reducing the risk of serious brain damage stemming from traumatic birth and injuries.

Elk & Elk

Current Opinion on Pediatrics has published a thorough analysis of research on the topic. The very first studies that the analysis focuses on utilized cooling for a very short period of time. As a result, their effectiveness was limited.

Newer experiments put emphasis on moderate cerebral hypothermia initiated as soon as possible after the suspected traumatic event. This cooling continued for 48 hours or more, depending on the specifics of the case. In many instances, prolonged cerebral hypothermia led to very potent neuroprotection and a reduced risk of complications/side effects later on in life.

New randomized clinical trials are currently in the process of being carried out. These will shed more light on therapeutic hypothermia and the positive effect it could have on babies that have experienced a brain injury at birth.

Oxygen Therapy

There’s also been a lot of research about the use of oxygen therapy as a preventative measure in the case of birth brain injuries. One of the latest reports came out in 2017, and it’s the result of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.

Medical researchers reported about the reversal of brain damage in a two-year-old drowning victim that was completely unresponsive. Through the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the medical team managed to reverse brain volume loss in the child – an experiment that could also prove to be highly beneficial in the case of birth brain injuries.

After resuscitating the affected child, the treating team discovered serious brain injuries as a result of oxygen deprivation. There was obvious gray and white matter loss; the girl lost her speech and her ability to respond to external stimuli.

The treatment included 100 percent normobaric oxygen therapy. Each session lasted 45 minutes and sessions occurred two times per day. During the course of the treatment, the girl regained her alertness. Additional neurological improvements followed later on – laughing, better hand movement, eye coordination, improved hand grasp and speech improvements among many others.

Researchers observed a startling tissue regrowth stemming from the oxygen therapy and the ability of the young brain to regenerate itself. The treatment is considered a low-risk one, and it can potentially have a massive effect on either preventing or reversing brain damage.

Research is still ongoing, and while the two options presented above are seen as some of the most promising approaches, medics are also looking at other options. Different centers adopt different approaches, later on reporting about the effectiveness of each. While results do vary and a lot more research will be required, parents already have some hope due to the promising effects of some therapeutic approaches that are simple enough and that have been around for a relatively long time.