What our CNS had to say:
This study has been discussed on the NIDCAP listserve, especially by the Europeans because the study came out of the UK. What the lay press is not sharing is that the accompanying comment in the Lancet On-line (which is where this article appeared, not in the Lancet print journal), states that they feel the study authors' conclusions are premature due to methodological/testing processes used.
It is interesting how there can be volumes of studies supporting some practice and then people get all excited when a single nay-saying study comes out. Apparently this particular study has stirred a hornet's nest of responses with one on-line group now stating that sucrose causes brain damage.
The question of whether or not oral sucrose actually reduces pain sensation or somehow "simply" limits motor/behavioral activity has always been around and so will continue to be explored, I'm sure. This recent study of 59 term babies looked at if it changed cortical pathways known for pain, but not so closely at if it heightened some other pathways that can cancel/or block pain sensation.