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Steroids Given to Preemies May Harm Brain Growth: Study
Date:10/19/2011

F researchers and published in the same journal issue, researchers showed that a small molecule drug blocked the negative effects of steroids on the cerebellum in mice.

The drug worked by stimulating a pathway that's involved with growth of neurons, which is what steroids appear to hamper, Gressens said.

"If you give a small molecule which stimulates the pathway, in a way you reverse the toxicity of the steroid, and if you reverse the effect on growth, the cerebellum goes back to normal size," he said. "There is potential for application in humans, but it's still a long time from clinical applications, maybe 5 to 10 years."

More information

The March of Dimes has more about preventing premature births.

SOURCES: Emily Tam, M.D., assistant professor, neurology and pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco; Pierre Gressens, professor, perinatal neurology, Centre for the Developing Brain, Imperial College, London, and lab chief, INSERM, Paris; Oct. 19, 2011, Science Translational Medicine


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