A new study finds a correlation between a newborn’s low blood sugar and brain difficulties later in life.
The study published in JAMA Pediatrics was put together by a group of New Zealand researchers who studied 477 children at different points in their lives and found that those who had low blood sugar as infants were more likely to have brain difficulties at the age of 4.5.
“We don’t know fully what this means for learning,” said Chris McKinlay, a neonatologist and head researcher of the study, according to HealthPlus. “We think this may have an effect on educational achievement.”
The study’s findings are especially noteworthy because they equip the parents of newborns with information that will help them better care for their infants.
McKinlay, the study leader, suggests that parents work in unison with their pediatricians to both monitor and follow up with blood sugar levels in infants. Taking steps to stay informed could help minimize any potential brain damage that could be caused by the lower sugar levels.
According to the NIH (National Institute of Health), infants who are born pre-term, below average weight or above average weight, are more likely to develop low blood sugar levels, or hypoglycemia.