The MagNUM Study (Magnesium for Neuroprotection: Understanding Mechanisms) is providing information about the beneficial effects of magnesium sulphate on the brains of preterm babies.
The MaGNUM Study is following up 160 preterm babies who took part in the MAGENTA Trial. Babies in the study have an MRI scan and a developmental assessment when they are term equivalent (the equivalent of 40 weeks’ gestation). These two assessments will give us helpful information about the beneficial effects of magnesium sulphate on the brains of preterm babies (in this case, born at 30 – 34 weeks’) and how these relate to health outcomes for them at two years of age.
Bettering our understanding of how magnesium sulphate protects the preterm baby’s brain before birth could help us to improve the health of babies born at this gestation. Specifically, we are trying to find out the following:
- Does antenatal magnesium sulphate protect neonatal white matter microstructure?
- Are neuroprotective effects observed in neural systems that underpin the development of cognition and in developing motor tracts?
- Is neonatal white matter microstructure a biomarker for neurodevelopmental outcomes at 2 years of age?
Participants in the MagNUM study underwent a head MRI scan and a neurological assessment. As part of the MAGENTA Study, they are also seen for follow-up assessments of health and development at two years’ of age.
Babies in MagNUM had additional screening and contact with health professionals. Most parents were glad to take up this opportunity.
The MagNUM Study completed recruitment in April 2018. The study team is analysing the results and aims to publish the first findings in 2019.