A new study by researchers at the Emory University School
of Medicine, Atlanta has suggested that babies requiring drainage of brain
fluid to prevent build up of cranial pressure face a poor prognosis. The team
said that cognitive impairment was a real danger in such babies.
The study involved 6161 infants born weighing 401 to 1000
grams. It may be noted here that infants having very low birth weight are more
prone to develop a condition called hydrocephalus, which is also called as
water in the brain.
In this study some 13 percent of the infants developed
the condition and 3 percent had a shunt
inserted for drainage. The researchers report that infants who needed a shunt
had significantly lower scores on a standard infant development index. This was
as compared with children who had no shunt inserted.
Some 86 percent of children who had shunts showed
impaired neurological development during the follow-up period of 18 to 22
The details of the
study appear in the medical journal Pediatrics.