Blood-boosters may give tiny preemies a developmental edge - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Blood-boosters may give tiny preemies a developmental edge

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CHICAGO (AP) -- A new study finds that two blood-building drugs injected soon after birth may give tiny preemies a lasting long-term edge, boosting brain development and IQ by age 4.

Researchers and other experts say the first-of-its-kind study was small, involving 53 children, but the implications are big if larger, longer studies prove the drugs help even the playing field for at-risk children.

Dr. Robin Ohls, the lead author and a pediatrics professor at the University of New Mexico, says babies who got the drugs scored about 12 points higher on average on IQ tests than the untreated kids but about 10 points lower than the normal-weight group.

Ohls says even though the treated youngsters didn't do as well as the normal-weight group on most measures, their scores were impressive and suggest greater brain development than the other preemies.

Results are published in Monday's journal Pediatrics.

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