Fluid buildup or bleeding in the heads of preemies can damage the developing brain or even prove fatal, but draining the cerebrospinal fluids through needles has not noticeably improved the health of such babies. Now a clinical study offers hope through a new technique that "washes" the baby brain with fresh fluid.
"This is the first time that any treatment anywhere in the world has been shown to benefit these very vulnerable babies," said Ian Pople, a pediatric neurosurgeon at the North Bristol NHS Trust in the UK. He worked with Andrew Whitelaw, a neonatologist at North Bristol NHS Trust, to develop the new treatment.
The Drainage, Irrigation and Fibrinolytic Therapy (DRIFT) method, or ventricular lavage treatment, involves putting two tubes in the preemie brain. One tube continuously drains out the fluid putting pressure on the brain, and the other fluid lets clear fluid flow in. That overall effect slowly decompresses the brain, until the procedure is done. The tubes come out after the three-day washout procedure.
The randomized study published in the journal Pediatrics was funded by the Cerebra and the James and Grace Anderson Trust. This washout treatment probably won't lead to old brains floating happily in their own survival tanks, but we're glad to see a possibly effective treatment finally emerging for the young ones. And besides, the older brains might just require a squirt of stem cells in the future.
sounds like an expensive surgery....
when humans the same age can get an entirely different surgery
How can we give surgeries like this to unborn babies, when at the same time we are killing them through abortion?
it makes no sense
People choosing to abort their children is none of your business, neither is this the forum for that discussion. Please keep your moral idiocy to yourself.
However I do have a brother who was born several weeks premature and had developmental problems his whole life. This is an amazing treatment which increases not only our life saving ability but furthers recovery and further life progress. Fresh cranial fluid, who'd a thunk it!
Washing out your brain might allow you to score better on a mental development index...
The article is very clearly about preemies - that is, children *born* without having had a chance to fully develop.
If you had washed out your brain, you would realize that *after you are born* you cannot possibly be *unborn* anymore.
Sigh. Have any opinion you like, but try really hard not to make things up and then point to your own confused imagination and say, See! That other person has an opinion that makes no sense!
The lack of productive conversation around difficult social issues (in any country/society) would be greatly ameliorated if people would quit making things up and talk about the facts.
That said, it is also true that this website is not a place that deals with political debate. Perhaps you can find a more suitable forum, once you actually understand what the article says, to debate your ethical propositions. PopSci is really not the place.