UPDATED: January 7, 2013
Enrollment into Phase 2: Neuromuscular and Other Health Issues in Children through Age 12 is officially closed.
The Preemie Growth Project accepted nearly 300 children into the Project from June 11, 2012 through December 31, 2012, and will continue to monitor and report their results through June 30, 2013.
Preliminary results appear to be very positive.
UPDATED: December 19, 2012
Preliminary results of "Phase 2" of the Preemie Growth Project (investigation into neuromuscular issues) were presented to Dr. Nigel Paneth, MD, MPH & University Distinguished Professor in the College of Human Medicine and three of his Research Fellows at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan today. It appeared to go well; some excellent questions were asked, and thanks to the wonderful parents in the Project, there was significant data to perk their interest. Stay tuned for more updates - we *want* a rigorous scientific inquiry!
In the meantime, take a look at the "ten minute" presentation prepared for the meeting here:
LINK ==>Preemie Growth Project (Phase 2) Preliminary Results (Dr. Paneth, MSU, 12/19/2012) - As of December 19, 2012
September 15, 2012
There has been a breakthrough in the understanding of certain neuromuscular disorders in children - specificaly, the cerebral palsy family, including hypotonia and hyperspastic symptoms. Most of the children with neuromuscular issues in our project who suffer from cerebral palsy, hypotonia, hyperspasticity, and dystonia are seeing "dramatic improvements" in their appetite, weight, strength and tone in a very short time. Currently every premature baby who has used our protocol has quickly achieved growth and developmental milestones on par with their full-term peers; we suspect they will avoid neuromuscular issues as well, but the sample size of that population is currently less than 20, so the 100% success rate we are seeing may not continue.
We do not know if it will work for every child. Our Project is parents reporting what is happening with their children, and then sharing that information with everyone else. You can read those reports here:
LINK ==>Children Being Tracked
We are a non-profit, and there is no cost to join our Project. Budget permitting, we will accept qualified children through December 31, 2012 and continue to report their status on our page for a minimum of six months afterwards.
There is a YouTube lecture video series that explains in great detail what is going on, and a "short" PDF excerpt below.
As we learn more, we will do our best to share that knowledge both here on the web, with interested medical professionals, and of course the families in our Project.
LINK ==>Quick Summary with Baby Pictures (Excerpt from Video Series) - As of September 8, 2012
4-Part Lecture Video Series, August 10, 2012 on YouTube
Ida Briggs, Executive Director and Founder of the Preemie Growth Project, explains the background for the discovery of and explanation of why micronutrient supplementation helps premature babies quickly achieve growth and developmental milestones, and why it appears to be dramatically improving neuromuscular issues in children with hypotonia and hyper-spasticity issues, including those with cerebral palsy.
LINK ==> Part 1 of 4: How It All Started
LINK ==> Part 2 of 4: The Textbook Breakthrough & Existing Science
LINK ==> Part 3 of 4: More Science & the (first) 2 Cerebral Palsy Children
LINK ==> Part 4 of 4: Parent Reports & How To Do It With Your Own Child
Message from Ida Briggs
Welcome to the Preemie Growth Project, a completely parent driven group of dedicated volunteers trying to save the world one child at a time.
The whole thing started because my 32 week 4 pound premature twins did something unbelievable - they were NORMAL at 4 months actual / 2 months adjusted. Instead of just counting my blessings, I actively pushed to see if our miracle could be recreated for other children.
The answer was yes. It turns out that when you give birth to a runt (as one doctor rather rudely explained it), you have to give them the micronutrients via early supplementation they did not get in the womb because they were born too soon. (And, yes, you have seen the concept on the Disney movie Charlotte's Web already!)
NOTE FOR PREEMIE BABY PARENTS: If you do not do this, most premature babies "catch up" between one and two years of age when they start eating real food. However, we are now finding out there MAY be issues for the grandchildren - more on that in a bit.
Correcting the deficiency issues is easy, inexpensive, and surprisingly quick using commonly available liquid supplements.
So, the answer to the original question of whether or not premature babies could “catch up” in 2-6 months by using a simple, early, nutrition-based intervention was YES. It increases survival rates, puts preemies in the “normal” ranges on a growth chart for their “actual” (not adjusted) age, and helps them to achieve developmental milestones at the same time as their full-term peers.
Then something else happened.
A 9-month old boy diagnosed with cerebral palsy by reputable physicians got better! He went from twelve to twenty-two pounds in under ten weeks, and then shocked his mother by taking his first steps!
You would think someone would pay attention at that point, but the consensus was mis-diagnosis.
Then a 9-year old neighbor girl, diagnosed with classic spastic cerebral palsy, who was a 26-week preemie, born weighing one pound and eleven ounces, showed dramatic improvement with muscular weight gain, increased strength, and decreased hyper-spasticity in a little over a month on the same micronutrients - at which point, all of the pieces came together.
The "working theory" is there has been some confusion as to which came first - the chicken or the egg. Current accepted fact is children with cerebral palsy have brain damage, which causes their neuromuscular issues; it looks like the micronutrient deficiency actually occurs first, and then you get the neuromuscular issues, and maybe even some of the brain damage.
Will this help your child? Well, as of August 8, 2012,*** we have EIGHT children with neuromuscular issues ranging from cerebral palsy with hypotonia and hyper-spasticity to dystonia who are showing dramatic improvement, starting with increased appetite, followed by muscular weight gain, increased strength, and decreased hyper-spasticity. Three parents are reporting cognitive improvement, and two say sensory processing issues seem to be getting better. We have four more children in the pipeline, and I am feeling very confident about them, too.
The bad news is this may only work for children under age twelve due to growth plate issues and the effects of long term deficiency, but honestly, we do not know yet for certain, because this is still very early stages. Also on the bad news front: we have some children who were not born prematurely, but two have mothers who were born prematurely, so we are looking for more information about that particular pattern.
Will this help your child? Join us and find out!
- Ida M. Briggs, Executive Director & Founder
*** As of 02/15/2013 = Total is ONE HUNDRED EIGHTEEN!
*** As of 01/16/2013 = Total is ONE HUNDRED ONE!
*** As of 12/08/2012 = Total is EIGHTY-NINE!
*** As of 11/16/2012 = Total is SEVENTY-SEVEN!
*** As of 10/14/2012 = Total is FIFTY-SEVEN!
*** As of 10/06/2012 = Total is FORTY-THREE!
*** As of 09/14/2012 = Total is NINETEEN!
*** As of 08/29/2012 = Total is ELEVEN!