A remedy many people use to ease aching muscles may help save the lives of babies born too early.
The report in the Journal of the American Medical Association explains that a dose of magnesium sulphate, or epsom salts, was given to pregnant women through an IV right before and shortly after delivery.
Turns out the study of more than 1,600 premature pregnancies found that babies born to mothers who got this treatment had a lower risk of death or developing cerebral palsy compared to those whose mothers did not get the epsom salts. Along with tough survival odds, premature infants often face a laundry list of health problems, including an increased risk of developing cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder.
Magnesium sulphate is also being tested as a therapy for pregnant women who develop the severe high blood pressure condition called pre-eclampsia.
The research was conducted in Australia and New Zealand was led by researchers at the University of Adelaide, South Australia and is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.