Cord Blood Treatments Continue To Offer Promise for Treating Cerebral Palsy
Among the various diseases that plague newborn babies, Cerebral Palsy is one that is commonly heard of. However, its occurrence and frequency has increased gradually over the last decade. Literally speaking, Cerebral is a derived word from Cerebrum which is the area of the brain that is affected in this condition and Palsy refers to movement disorder.
Therefore, this disease is a neurological disorder that leads to uncoordinated muscle/body movements and consequently impaired growth in a child. Because the brain is affected badly in a severe condition of Cerebral Palsy; hearing, sight and seeing abilities can also suffer damage in the long run. Majority of the cases witnessed in CP have arisen either before or during childbirth, when the newborn’s delicate brain is deprived of oxygen.
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy has developed into a complex disease, which has various types. Because it is a result of a distressed birth, recognizing CP is hard in newborns and toddlers. However, intensive medical research in this area has aided in developing a list of signs and symptoms that need to be looked out for.
- First and foremost, toddlers who have damaged a part of their brain during birth learn to crawl, sit and walk extremely slowly compared to children their age.
- Because the immediate and most prominent result is a mismatched muscle movement, one notices that such kids sit and lie in awkward positions and have trouble in taking nurse from their mothers.
- Seizures and problems with sight, hearing and swallowing are common.
Even though these symptoms are common among all patients of CP, medical practitioners and researchers believe that every such victim goes through unique problems.
Cord Blood Treatment for Cerebral Palsy
For years now, CP has had no cure except regular medication to keep the movements in control and a lot of therapy for muscles to coordinate with the brain as much as possible. According to popular opinion, the damage done to the brain is irreversible and can only be contained with therapies or in some cases surgeries are also done to improve the condition.
Medical research; however, has been trying very hard to look for more ways to reduce the damage inflicted during birth on the 400 babies who are diagnosed with this disease each year in Australia alone. Current research in Melbourne has proven that if the blood contained in the umbilical cord is pumped back into newborns, it can reduce and even prevent the occurrence of Cerebral Palsy. This study has been carried out on baby lambs that also passed through traumatic births.
The findings and results of the Cord Blood Treatment are promising. However, it is yet to be performed on humans. Nonetheless, medical science and research have advanced greatly today and is able to provide for an environment in which this process can be implanted to save innocent lives.