When a baby is diagnosed with a brain injury or is at risk for developmental disorders, it’s natural to ask questions. Why and how did this happen? What treatments can help? How will this condition affect the child’s life?

Physicians and researchers at Cincinnati Children’s have been asking questions like these for decades — and finding answers that help improve the lives of children close to home and around the country. Their research drives innovative methods for treating brain injuries and neurological conditions. It leads to new therapies, improved health outcomes and a better quality of life for children and their families. 

New Strategies for Predicting and Preventing Poor Outcomes

About 40% of very preterm babies (born at 32 weeks’ gestation or younger) have a brain injury that increases their risk for cerebral palsy, intellectual impairments, hearing and language problems, autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders. 

Unfortunately, it usually is not possible to predict which children will experience these challenges. When such problems are diagnosed and treated later in childhood, we lose the chance to take advantage of the infant brain’s unique ability to adjust, reorganize and heal. 

At Cincinnati Children’s, national and international leaders in the field of neurological neonatal medicine are working to improve care for these fragile babies. Our researchers are developing early risk prediction and diagnosis strategies for babies with brain injuries. Our neonatologists, fetal and neonatal neurologists, pediatric neurologists and basic researchers are on the cutting-edge of this field of study. They are bringing novel therapies to the bedside and giving babies who have had a rough start in life the best neurodevelopmental outcomes possible.