The NEST Study is an international trial led by the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute comparing outcomes for babies who were treated for visible seizures that were also detected on a monitor to those who were treated for only visible seizures. This study involves babies born near to full term, and examines their neurodevelopment at two years of age. (Funding: National Health and Medical Research Council)
The DINO Trial was coordinated by the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide, and ran from 2001-05. This study investigated the effect of fish oil supplementation given to lactating mothers on the health of their preterm infants. Babies born at term receive a supply of the fatty acid DHA through the placenta, but preterm babies do not, and DHA is essential for brain growth and development. The original DINO trial results showed a significant decrease in severe developmental delay (at 18 months of age) in infants whose mothers received DHA supplements.
The DINO 7 Trial followed up these babies at seven years of age, where no differences were seen between the DHA-supplemented group and the non-supplemented group. As a result, there is no evidence to support DHA supplementation for mothers of babies born preterm. (Funding: National Health and Medical Research Council)