Neurological Development

Current Studies

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)


Completed Studies

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)