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Tel Aviv University gives preemies a fighting chance
Date:12/4/2007

reemies are healthier and happier.

As part of a biannual course they teach, the physicians will demonstrate the benefits of their research during, The Practitioners Guide to Pediatric Exercise, at the University of California-Irvine this January. The course is aimed at an international group of pediatric physicians, physiologists, trainers and teachers.

The intervention program involves extension and flexion exercises on preemies arms and legs, and its efficacy has been reported in the Journal of Perinatology, Pediatrics, and the International Journal of Sports Medicine. Recently the duo presented current research at the 24th Pediatric Work Physiology Meeting, Children and Exercise, in Tallinn, Estonia.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) has given a vote of confidence in the research by funding the physicians (together with a group led by Prof. Dan M. Cooper from the University of California-Irvine) to conduct a four-and-a-half year study of bone strength and exercise in preemies.

Mechanical strain is known to be a powerful stimulator of bone formation and growth. However, until now, no standard intervention program has been delivered. Normally, doctors attempt to treat the condition through calcium and phosphorus supplements, added to breast milk or IV fluids. But this treatment has not been found to be lead to optimization of bone strength, says Dr. Nemet, who is a specialist in pediatric health and who runs together with Dr. Eliakim a center in this field in Israel.

Preemies have a disease which is manifested by fractures. We thought that if exercise works for strengthening the bones of older children and adults, then theres no reason why it cant work for preemies, says Dr. Nemet.


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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

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