A study has confirmed that powerful steroids can affect brain development in premature babies.

Researcher Emily Tam, MD, of the University of California-San Francisco explains that animal studies found that the steroids called glucocorticoids affect a certain part of the brain.

“On the other hand,” Tam says, “we did find that when hydrocortisone and dexamethasone were given after the child was born, this was associated with decreased growth of cerebellum. So by term age, the cerebellum was 10 percent smaller that it should have been.”

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