In the News

Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology are urging doctors to be on high alert for early signs of a smaller-than-average baby developing in a mother with preeclampsia, a condition characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. They discovered that children born smaller than usual that were also moderately preterm – between 32 to36 weeks – or very preterm – less than 31 weeks – to a mother who experienced preeclampsia are at significantly increased risk, 20 fold, of being diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Among full-term babies, those born at normal size to a woman with preeclampsia didn’t appear to be at increased risk, while those born small for gestational age to a woman with preeclampsia were at an increased risk, 3 fold, says the study published July 9, 2013 in BMJ. Preeclampsia is a medical condition that presents with high blood pressure and significant amounts of protein in the urine of pregnant women. For the study researchers studied 849 singleton babies with cerebral palsy and 616,658 singleton children without, who survived the neonatal period during 1996 to 2006.