Red Blood Cells Stimulating Hormone May Lead to Brain Preservation in Premature Infants

Published By : 27 Aug 2014 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

According to research, a certain hormone that is used for reducing the need for blood transfusion may aid in protecting the brains of premature babies. 

According to a pediatrics professor at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, synthetic erythropoietin (EPO) can prove to be helpful in preventing brain damage in premature babies. In fact, synthetic erythropoietin (EPO) is known to be a red blood cell stimulating agent. The effectiveness of EPO in preventing brain damage can be understood and evaluated only when the children grow up a bit. 

According to medical specialists, babies that are born prior to the 32nd week of pregnancy are exposed to fatal health risks which mostly involve brain damage and underdevelopment of the brain especially that part of the brain which is known as the white matter. Researchers have also stated that premature babies may eventually develop lifelong disabilities like learning and attention problems, thinking and motor problems. 

EPO which has been in use for long for treating premature infants, is generally used for treating anemia and exhibits no side effects and is perfectly safe. Interestingly, EPO is used in the world of sports as a performance enhancing agent. 

MRI scans that were conducted in infants that had reached the full-term birth age showed that lesser brain damage was reported in infants that had received the hormone as compared to the infants that had not received this hormone. 

For many years, many medicines have been tried and tested for preserving the brains of premature babies, however, with little success. 

The major concern currently is that EPO has a tendency to decrease the white blood cell count and in some cases EPO may also enhance the chances of the babies to develop an eye disability which is known as retinopathy of prematurity. 
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