South African Medical Journal

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Early and Intensive Maternal Antenatal Decompression and the Electro-encephalograms of 4-year-old Children

B.D. Murdoch, Lesley S. Burnett, Carole A. Charlewood


Electro-encephalograms (EEGs) were recorded from 44 first-born children aged 4 years, whose mothers had undergone a mean number of 148 decompression treatments initiated before the 29th week of pregnancy, and from 40 controls of the same age whose mothers had received no decompression during pregnancy. For only 7 of the 45 EEG measures did the groups show a statistically significant difference. This is less than the number of statistically significant differences to be expected purely on the basis of chance, and suggests that the groups showed no basic differences in their EEGs. It is concluded that early and intensive maternal antenatal decompression treatment produces no lasting changes in EEG measures. Previous claims that antenatal decompression leads to enhanced cortical development and cognitive function in children are thus not upheld.

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