With a $263,000 award from Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Monash Newborn Research is working on a new therapy to treat neonatal seizures. Researchers from Hudson Institute and Monash University are developing the medication known as ganaxolone. The drug has previously been studied in epilepsy patients but has not yet been tested on newborn babies. “In our unique preclinical model of birth asphyxia,” Hudson Institute researcher Dr. Tamara Yawno notes, “we have developed ganaxolone (a synthetic neurosteoid) as a treatment to protect the developing brain and reduce seizures for the first 48 hours of life.”
Neonatal seizures are one the common indications of a birth injury; and most often indicate HIE (lack of oxygenation and blood flow to the brain during labor and delivery). HIE is also a leading cause of cerebral palsy. Monash and Hudson researchers hope that this new medication proves to be the next safe and effective first line treatment for neonatal seizures.
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