Neonatal caffeine therapy for apnea of prematurity in very low birth weight infants showed improved visuomotor, visuoperceptual and visuospatial outcomes at age 11 years compared with infants who did not receive the therapy, according to study results published in Pediatrics.
“Apnea of prematurity occurs in over 50% of preterm neonates and is most commonly created with respiratory stimulants such as caffeine,” Ines M. Mürner-Lavanchy, PhD, of Monas Institute of Cognitive and Clinical Neurosciences, Monash University, Clayton, Australia, and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues wrote. “However, short- and long-term effects of caffeine on the central nervous system are not clearly understood, with both neuroprotective and neurotoxic effects being reported in experimental evidence. In addition, caffeine may be indirectly associated with better developmental outcomes by reducing apnea and the duration of mechanical ventilation.”
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