Babies born at night could have higher risk of developing epilepsy

Posted Nov 22 2010 in Epilepsy in children

Babies born during the night could have a higher risk of developing epilepsy, according to new research.

Researchers at the University of California School of Medicine in San Francisco have found that those born between the 10pm and 4am were 22 per cent more likely to develop neonatal encephalopathy.

Those affected with the condition have difficulty breathing and maintaining full consciousness during infancy and around half of patients will either die or grow up to with problems such as cerebral palsy or epilepsy.

Nighttime births have previously been linked with a range of issues, including death, although no definitive cause has been found. A shortage of staff and fatigue among doctors are among the possible explanations for the increased risks.

Furthermore, lead researcher Dr Yvonne Wu told news agency Reuters that the report failed to offer any definitive proof that the timing of the birth can actually result in neonatal encephalopathy.

The study was printed in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 

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