Neonatal infections can factor in development of cerebral palsy

Preterm infants who succumbed to neonatal infections are more likely to have cerebral palsy at age five, according to a recently published study.

According to Dr. Ayoub Mitha in a study she wrote that was published in Pediatrics, neonatal infections occur more commonly in preterm infants, which can further increase their risk of developing neurologic and cognitive disabilities. The study included 2,665 live births between 22 and 32 weeks of gestation The five-year follow-up study presented cerebral palsy in 9% (157 of 1,769) of the participants and 12% (177 of 1,495) had cognitive impairment.

Mitha said the risk of cerebral palsy in children with neonatal infections resonates with the neurotoxic effects of infectious and inflammatory mediators on cerebral white matter.

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