Cerebral palsy is the term used to define a kind of neurological disorders, that is characterized by difficulty in movement, usually appearing in early childhood. The primary symptoms of this group of disorders is weak and stiff muscles, poor coordination in muscle movement and sometimes body tremors like seizures. In severe cases, the cerebral palsy may also affect the sensations of vision, touch and hearing and may also make it extremely difficult for the patient to speak properly.
Cerebral palsy is mainly caused by damage or abnormal development of the centres of the brain which control the activities like motion, movement of muscles, speech and other such areas. Most of the times, the problems arise during pregnancy, and there may be several risk factors like like premature birth, a difficult delivery resulting in injuries to the head of the baby, being one half of a pair of twins or even infections or radiation the mother may have been subject to while she was pregnant. Often times, the cause of the development of cerebral palsy is unknown.
Cerebral palsy is partly preventable by vaccination of the mother and ensuring that the delivery is smooth and no damage was done to the head of the child while delivering and after successful childbirth. Unfortunately, cerebral palsy still remains one of the most common movement disorders seen in children.
Treatment and Cure
There is, sadly, no permanent cure for cerebral palsy, also many supportive treatments and procedures and medications may help ease the pain of the patient and help them regain control of movement. Primarily, these treatments are limited to physical therapy and speech therapy, as the case may be. Medications like botulinum may help relax the muscles, and some surgical methods are also available to lengthen muscles and manipulate the nerve network. Recently, however a potential cerebral palsy treatment with stem cells in India had been developed and is being tested, and promising results are seen, although much more extensive research is need to recommend this a sure treatment.
Stem Cells Therapy
A stem cell is a cell a multicellular organism that can differentiate into other types of cells and then divide and give rise to various tissue. The speciality of stem cells is that they can be used to produce any kind of tissue ranging from nervous tissue to skeletal muscles. The three primary sources of such stem cells or autologous adult stem cells in humans are the bone marrow, the blood and in adipose tissue or fat.
The stem cell therapy procedure of treating cerebral palsy mainly focuses on targeting these stem cells into the areas of the brain where extensive tissue damage has occured. The stem cells which are capable of transforming into nervous tissue regenerate the damaged areas and help to somewhat reverse the damage.
This form of treatment of cerebral palsy, although a bit expensive, has shown potential to permanently reverse some of the damage brought in by cerebral palsy, and is already being offered as a treatment procedure in some hospitals.