PROTECT: a new treatment to prevent cerabral palsy

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

Every 15 hours an Australian child is born with cerebral palsy, which is a common cause of physical disability in children. Babies in the womb can have limited growth if they don’t receive the oxygen and nutrients they need. These growth-restricted babies can also have less oxygen reaching the brain and are at much greater risk of developing cerebral palsy. While we can detect these growth restricted unborn babies using ultrasound, currently no treatment exists that can reduce the chance of damage to the brain. Melatonin, a powerful anti-oxidant, has been shown to protect the unborn brain in this circumstance. The PROTECT trial will explore if melatonin given to mothers during pregnancy can protect the unborn growth restricted baby’s brain. We will look at how melatonin protects the brain and also see if it improves how the brain works at 2 years of age. If successful, this would be the first treatment that can prevent cerebral palsy and improve the outcomes for these children and their families.
Effective start/end date5/02/181/02/21