Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Promising components developed to protect against cerebral palsy caused by oxygen deprevation at birth

Northwestern University chemists have developed two compounds that have been shown effective in pre-clinical trials in protecting against cerebral palsy due to oxygen deprivation during or shortly after birth.  The press release Stunning Finding: Compounds Protect Against Cerebral Palsy contains all the details, an excerpt of which is below:

"In developing the potential drugs, Silverman and his team were able to produce something that pharmaceutical companies so far have not: highly selective compounds that inhibit the enzyme found in brain cells that produces nitric oxide but that do not affect similar nitric oxide-producing enzymes found in endothelial and macrophage cells."

Scientists have not tested the compounds on humans yet, but the initial animal trials appear promising:
"None of the fetuses born to animals treated with the two compounds died; more than half of those born to untreated animals died. Eighty-three percent of animals treated with one of the compounds were born normal, with no cerebral palsy characteristics. Sixty-nine percent of animals treated with the other compound were born normal."
This research greatly interests me because our son has cerebral palsy caused by a lack of oxygen at birth.  Don't get me wrong, I love my son for who he is, but I am also in support of research that may help to minimize the long-term impacts of infant brain injury.


  1. I'm with you! I think this sounds so promising.

  2. Ellen, thanks for the note. I also read your post on this topic. Definitely promising research!