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Glue treats baby brain condition

A rare brain condition which normally kills babies within days is being successfully treated using glue.

Vein of Galen malformation is where there is abnormal communication between the arteries and veins in the brain.

The condition puts stress on the baby's heart and they usually die of heart failure or hydrocephalus (water on the brain) within three or four days.

But a treatment which involves a tissue adhesive called Histoacryl - similar to super glue - being injected through a catheter in the baby's groin is proving increasingly successful at saving lives by blocking the affected area of the brain.

Dr Stefan Brew, a consultant interventional neuro radiologist who has treated around 50 children at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital with the glue procedure, said he still finds doing the highly skilled method "incredibly stressful".

But he added: "It's very satisfying work. The children go from looking like they were about to die, often overnight, to looking very well."

Dr Brew said around six out of 10 children treated go on to live a normal life and another two in 10 will be left with only a mild disability.

A further 10% will be left severely disabled and one in 10 children will die.

"No matter how careful you are, there's an element of chance to it. What is known is that if you don't treat them, they die" Dr Brew said.

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