Will Boy’s CP Treatment Become The New Standard?
Cerebral Palsy in children is one of those rare conditions that plagues every two newborn babies in a 1000. This disease is marked by a permanent damage to brain neurons that control muscle reflexes and the muscle tone. Because this condition is present by birth, on remedial grounds there is no cure for it considering the amount of damage sustained by a small brain at the time of birth.
Therefore, most of the efforts until now have been directed towards medications to minimize its side effects and therapies to improve the damage already done to mind-muscle coordination. The single most prominent cause of cerebral palsy is distressed birth conditions which stop the flow of blood to a baby’s brain, causing its motor functions to become abnormal. Such a situation can arise if the baby is underweight, undeveloped or if twins and triplets are being born.
Types of Cerebral Palsy
Because the damage is sustained in the cerebrum part of the brain, CP has a number of effects such as impaired hearing, late cognitive and physical development and awkward sitting and walking positions. Years of research and observation have yielded enough information about Cerebral Palsy so that cutting edge methods and procedures can be implemented to delve further into its causes and prevention strategies.
The kinds of CP that have been identified to date are:
- Spastic cerebral palsy: Causes stiffness in muscles and makes it hard to move about, resulting in lack of coordination.
- Athetoid cerebral palsy: Causes out-of-control movements that are unsanctioned by the brain.
- Ataxic cerebral palsy: Causes a severe lack of perception for lengths, heights and level of surfaces, leading to improper balance.
According to research, around 500,000 children and adults suffer from CP as a lifelong physical impairment in the United States. What is worse is that in most cases the presence of the above mentioned types is not diagnosed till 1 to 2 years and by then brain damage is completely irreversible.
Ground breaking stem cell trial for CP
The terrible effects and consequences of being a victim of CP necessitate constant research in this field and that is exactly what stem cell researchers have been up to. According to the news, stem cell research to fight CP is being conducted on an 11-year-old boy for the first time in medical history. Drew and his parents belong to Detroit and have lived a handicapped life for 11 years. However, this might be the time when their long wished dreams for their son will come true.
The stem cell procedure that is being administered by Drew’s doctors is one of the most advanced in this field. According to the theory followed, cord blood can be used to help the brain regenerate and recover from the damage it sustained during pregnancy or birth.
Stem cell research has always been known as a groundbreaking technology. If Drew’s condition improves even a little, this trial may well be the first ever CP remedy in the history of mankind. What is a miracle in this case is that the cord belongs to Drew himself, which his parents have banked up in hopes of finding a fulfilling future for their little boy.