Researchers at Penn State University have identified a link between a small organic compound found in fruit and honey called gluconate, and neonatal seizures. The research team used gluconate to target CLC-3 chloride channels in the brain. These small openings (channels) facilitate a large ion current in an infant’s brain, but are not as active in an adult brain. Since gluconate is too large to pass through the channels in an infant’s brain, it acts as a channel blocker, which may inhibit seizure activity. The researchers also found that a ketogenic diet (low-carbohydrate, high-fat) may help the body produce a substance that can act as a channel inhibitor, similar to gluconate, to suppress neonatal seizure activity.
Currently, there is no drug specifically developed to target neonatal seizures, and unfortunately, researchers indicate, long-term use of some anti-epilepsy drugs may have side effects on brain development in newborns. Researchers are optimistic that this finding could lead to the development of a viable treatment option for neonatal epilepsy.
Neonatal seizures are a common indication of a birth injury, resulting from events such as fetal distress, maternal bleeding, placental abruption, or cord prolapse. The most common cause of neonatal seizures is hypoxic–ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), which may lead to poor neurological outcome. HIE causes oxygen deprivation to the brain, which may occur before, during, or after delivery. This condition is also a leading cause of cerebral palsy.
There are five main types of neonatal seizures: subtle seizures, tonic seizures, clonic seizures, myoclonic seizures and non-paroxysmal repetitive behaviors. Symptoms of seizures may include repetitive shuddering or shaking, jerking movements, and excessive eye blinking. These events often signify serious damage to the brain and demand urgent medical attention.
If you believe your child suffers from neonatal seizures as a result of medical malpractice, please contact us at 877-262-9767.
The following reviews from our clients do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of another legal matter. The cases mentioned in the reviews are illustrative of some of the matters previously handled by Grant & Eisenhofer involving various areas of birth injury law. These reviews are endorsements.