ys of birth. We don't know why the mother goes into early labor or why the babies die, but it appears to be due to a syndrome involving these brain malformations. We are currently pursuing research funding to examine these questions."
Babies may live with less severe forms of these malformations, but researchers suspect any survivors may suffer from conditions such as cerebral palsy and mental retardation, which often have no known cause.
"By answering some of these questions, we may be able to prevent premature births and brain dysfunctions such as cerebral palsy and mental retardation," he said.
For neonatalogists, this breakthrough could mean the answers to questions that have been haunting physicians for years.
"This finding is very exciting for many reasons," said Steve Block, M.D., a neonatalogist and director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Wake Forest. "It is so unusual to have a finding that is completely novel. If we start to look at causation, then we can begin to explore therapies that might prevent some devastating diseases. The ultimate goal is a healthy baby and more productive member of society."
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Contact: Rae Beasley
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
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