Repeated courses of a corticosteroid called betamethasone, which is indicated for improving the survival of unborn premature babies, can increase the risks of cerebral palsy in those children.

This finding was disclosed as per results from a multi-center study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and led by Ronald Wapner, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Columbia University Medical Center and attending obstetrician and gynecologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia.

The study results were published in an issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

It was remarked by Dr. Wapner that since weekly courses had no long-term benefits and may potentially harm the child, medical doctors must not administer multiple weekly courses of corticosteroids.