"For the public, they are always eager to know what can I do? But we don't really have a handle on it here. This is not a study demonstrating the effect of an intervention," said Raman Sankar, chief of pediatric neurology at Mattel Children's Hospital at the University of California, Los Angeles. But, Sankar said, "people with preemies can go to development centers and get a lot of therapy. It can't hurt and probably helps."
Building a healthy brain can begin well before birth, too, Bernbaum added. Pregnant women who take a prenatal vitamin, eat a well-balanced diet low in salt and fat, and rich in calcium and protein, are giving their children, even babies born prematurely, the best odds, Bernbaum said.
There's more on the care of premature babies at the March of Dimes.
SOURCES: David Edwards, D.Sc., professor, neonatal medicine, director, Centre for the Developing Brain, Imperial College, London; Peter Rosenberger, M.D., former director, learning disorders unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston; Judy Bernbaum, M.D., medical director, neonatal follow-up program, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; Raman Sankar, M.D., chief, pediatric neurology, Mattel Children's Hospital, University of California, Los Angeles, Oct. 12, 2011, Neurology
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