24 April 2012

Major Breakthrough in Cerebral Palsy Treatments

Story first appeared in The Detroit News.

In research that is being hailed as a major breakthrough, cerebral palsy symptoms were dramatically reduced at birth in a study by Wayne State University and the Detroit Medical Center.

The study, published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine, involved the use of rabbits, an anti-inflammatory drug and a nanodevice.

Researchers developed a model of cerebral palsy in rabbits that replicated the disorder's neuroinflammation found in the human brains and subsequent motor deficits. The animals that were treated with the anti-inflammatory drug were able to walk and hop within five days.

The importance of this work is it indicates that there is a window in time immediately after birth where it can be identified, and a nanodevice can reverse the features of cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy is a group of movement disorders caused by injury or abnormal development. and has no cure. Symptoms range from mild to severe and can affect intellectual ability. It affects approximately 750,000 babies and adults, and the cost of caring for a person with the disorder is estimated at $1 million over a lifetime. The leading cause is premature birth. However, cerebral palsy in infants can be caused by medical negligence or medical malpractice, according to Birth Injury Lawyers.  Meaning that the doctors responsible for the birthing do not deliver the child quickly enough, and the baby suffers asphyxia  or hypoxia, which is lack of oxygen to the brain.

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