MicroRNAs in Magnesium-Mediated Neuroprotection (2019)

Preterm babies are at greater risk for cerebral palsy. Administration of magnesium sulfate has a preventative effect on preterm labor. Magnesium affects production of microRNAs which are critical for the development of the cells that make myelin/white matter in the brain.

If patients with or at risk for cerebral palsy have different microRNAs than healthy individuals, microRNAs could be used for early detection. Knowing the difference in microRNAs between healthy and afflicted patients could allow treatment with microRNAs that promote myelin/white matter development.

Core Questions

  • What microRNAs are found in prematurely born babies?
  • Are the kinds of microRNAs found in premature babies, who later develop cerebral palsy, different from those who do not develop this disease?
  • Are the microRNAs different in premature babies whose mothers were given magnesium sulfate?

Post Research Results

  • Research results were published in one publication. Two genes were identified that were upregulated in children with CP and have potential use as biomarkers. Importantly, it was determined that magnesium sulfate may not exert its neuroprotective effect through changes in gene expression.

Research Team

  • Dr. Maria L.V. Dizon MD MSCI, Dr. Alan Peaceman MD, Dr. Deborah J Gaebler-Spira MD