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08 November 2011

Preemie steriods may affect brain growth

The drugs help breathing but should be used with utmost caution, researchers say

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Giving premature babies even low doses of steroids after birth interferes with development of the brain's cerebellum, which is important to motor skills, learning and behavior, new research finds.

The study found that preemies given the steroids hydrocortisone or dexamethasone had on average a 10 percent smaller cerebellum than premature babies not given the drug. Most of the infants had their brains scanned shortly after birth and again at around what would have been full term.

 
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