Is there a Cure for Cerebral Palsy?
The Cure for Cerebral Palsy: Repairing Brain Damage
As biomedicine advances so does the possibility for a cure for cerebral palsy. The field of neurobiology makes new discoveries about repairing brain damage regularly. These advances directly impact the field of developmental brain damage and help increase the quality of life of people with cerebral palsy.
For the first time, a "cure" for cerebral palsy begins to be a reality. "Cure" meaning the healing of the damaged brain area causing cerebral palsy. In the past we thought there was no way to "replace" damaged nerve cells in the brain. Instead researchers attempted to develop new pathways of nerve connections to replace damaged ones will little result. Now, a new horizon of discovery has arrived in neurosurgery, made possible by stem cell research.
The areas of developmental brain damage which have seen the most advance include: the search for causes of development brain damage and their prevention; protecting the threatened brain of a newborn; and improving interventions minimizing impairment and the disability consequences.
Stem Cell Research and the Cure for Cerebral Palsy
Whether stem cell research will lead to the cure for Cerebral Palsy is still to be seen. We do know that animal research has recently found banks of unspecialized, embryonic-like, neural stem cells in the olfactory areas. In animals sense of smell is very acute and an important organ for finding food needed for survival. As "smell neurons" are lost, these unassigned stem cells replace them. Similar banks of stem cells have recently been found in the sensory nervous system of humans. As infections or trauma destroys sensory cells in the human smell system, they are regularly replaced by stem cells as well. Additionally, these same kinds of stem cells have recently been found deep in the human brain. It has been postulated that these cells could be used to replace neurons injured by brain damage. If we can find the stimulus which makes an unassigned stem like cell change to replace a damaged neuron we will be able to actually repair brain damage by replacing the damaged cells. This could lead to the elusive "cure for cerebral palsy".
Obviously this research has incredible implications for the future cure for cerebral palsy. There are many questions still needing answers but just finding these cells exist offers a ray of hope that damaged brain cells could be replaced and restored, thereby curing the disorder. Trials with animals have shown success in creating a "brain graft" with embryonic stem cells. However, there are no trials involving humans at this time.
What stem cell research indicates is that there is a real possibility for restoring function to the areas of damaged brain which resulted in cerebral palsy. We are at last beginning to walk a path which might lead to a true cure for cerebral palsy.
A Cure for Cerebral Palsy
Though researchers diligently search for a cure for cerebral palsy, none will be available until we learn how to repair damage to the brain. Cerebral palsy is a term covering many different disorders of motor control caused by brain damage. Preventing brain damage is the number one way to stop cerebral palsy. The brain damage causing cerebral palsy usually occurs early in fetus development but can occur from non-congenital reasons after birth as well.
Since there is currently no cure for cerebral palsy, most heath care professionals work to help people with CP to gain as much independence as possible. Physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy are utilized to maximize the potential for independence. Other treatments like medication and surgery are used to reduce spasticity, seizures and other physical symptoms of cerebral palsy.
While therapies and advances in medicine can go a long way to ease the disabilities caused by CP, it also important to try and understand what caused the condition in the first place. What many parents do not understand is that CP is sometimes caused by medical mistakes, negligence and malpractice. If you feel that your child may have CP as the result of medical mistakes, you and your child may be entitled to damages that can help to ease the financial burden.
Rasansky Law Firm has extensive experience handling these types of cases. The costs of caring for a child with CP can be nearly a million dollars in their lifetime. Contact us today for a no obligation, free evaluation.