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Rationale For Deciding Which Glucocorticoid To Use To Treat Preterm Babies

Date:
January 28, 2009
Source:
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Summary:
Although drugs known as glucocorticoids are used clinically to treat mothers at risk of preterm delivery and infants with life-threatening lung conditions, there are ongoing concerns about the therapy because it adversely affects brain development. New mouse research suggests that some glucocorticoids, e.g. corticosterone and prednisolone, might be less damaging to the fetal brain than others, such as dexamethasone.

Drugs known as glucocorticoids are used clinically to reduce the chance that a fetus at risk of premature delivery will develop respiratory distress syndrome, a serious complication of preterm birth and a significant cause of early neonatal death.

They are also used postnatally to treat infants with life-threatening lung conditions. However, there are ongoing concerns about the therapy because, despite its effectiveness at improving lung function and reducing neonatal mortality, it adversely affects brain development and is associated with increased risk of cerebral palsy and cognitive impairment.

New data, generated by Vivi Heine and David Rowitch, at the University of California, San Francisco, in a mouse model of glucocorticoid-induced neonatal brain injury, now suggests that some glucocorticoids, specifically 11-beta-HSD2–sensitve glucocorticoids such as corticosterone, might be less damaging to the fetal brain than others, such as dexamethasone.

In an accompanying commentary, Alberto Gulino and colleagues, at Sapienza University, Italy, discuss the basic scientific and clinical implications of these data.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hedgehog signaling has a protective effect in glucocorticoid-induced mouse neonatal brain injury through an 11-beta-HSD2-dependent mechanism. Journal of Clinical Investigation, (in press)

Cite This Page:

Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Rationale For Deciding Which Glucocorticoid To Use To Treat Preterm Babies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126173612.htm>.
Journal of Clinical Investigation. (2009, January 28). Rationale For Deciding Which Glucocorticoid To Use To Treat Preterm Babies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126173612.htm
Journal of Clinical Investigation. "Rationale For Deciding Which Glucocorticoid To Use To Treat Preterm Babies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126173612.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

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