Antenatal Interventions to Improve Neurologic Outcomes of Preterm Infants

Arpit Gupta, Shilpa Kalane, Umesh Vaidya

Abstract

Neuroprotection of the perinatal brain is a healthcare priority in terms of both suffering and economy. Injury to the perinatal brain is a leading cause of death and disability in children. Although the survival rate of preterm infants has improved, the prevalence of cerebral palsy has risen. The incidence of cerebral palsy decreases significantly with increasing gestational age. Studies on possible risk factors of cerebral palsy in preterm children are abundant. Evidence now suggests that in 70% to 80% of the cases, cerebral palsy is associated with antenatal factors, with birth asphyxia playing a relatively minor role. Therefore, antenatal interventions to improve the neurologic outcomes of preterm infants should be considered and implemented, if showed to be effective, to reduce the effects of this disabling condition on individuals, families, healthcare, and society. This article reviews potential antenatal neuroprotective approaches, including the future perspectives. 

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