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SAHMRI Women and Kids

Preventing cerebral palsy

1 in 500 Australian babies is born with cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy is when a baby's developing brain is damaged - and is often linked to premature birth. There is no cure for this condition.

Can we prevent cerebral palsy?

Associate Professor Philippa Middleton and her colleagues worked on understanding how giving magnesium sulphate to expectant mums can prevent babies from being born with cerebral palsy. Once this theory was confirmed by clinical trials, Associate Professor Middleton worked with a team to establish nationally recognised guidelines to help doctors and pregnant women understand the best practice for use of magnesium sulphate when faced with the risk of premature birth.


Associate Professor Middleton is also affiliated with The University of Adelaide. This research is funded by the Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

The Antenatal Magnesium Sulphate Prior to Preterm Birth for Neuroprotection of the Fetus, Infant and Child document available for download is provded courtsey of the Australian Research Centre for Health of Women and Babies, The University of Adelaide.

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SAHMRI is located on the traditional lands of the Kaurna people.

The SAHMRI community acknowledges and pays respect to the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the Adelaide region. We also acknowledge the deep feelings of attachment and the relationship of the Kaurna people to their country. We pay our respects to the Kaurna peoples' ancestors and the living Kaurna people today.