Joint research from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and France suggests that magnesium sulfate may prevent cerebral palsy in newborns if taken by mothers at risk of preterm birth (birth occurring before 37 weeks gestation). The study also contends that the chemical compound may reduce the combined risk of fetal/infant death or cerebral palsy.
In the study, nearly 5,500 women and their babies took part in 5 randomized trials. The researchers concluded that benefits from the magnesium sulfate were seen regardless of the reason for preterm birth, and that similar effects were observed across a range of preterm gestational ages and different treatment regimens. The team also opined that the substance has neuroprotective benefits, is relatively inexpensive, is easy to administer, and could lead to important health benefits for premature babies if adopted worldwide.