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Articles Tagged with cerebral palsy treatment

Stem Cell can help people with Cerebral PalsyOne of the many diseases that may be benefited by ongoing stem cell research is cerebral palsy (CP). While currently there is no cure for the disease, groundbreaking work is being done with stem cells that may hold hope for those with the disability. Although there are already stem cell treatments being used on CP in some countries, the study being performed at Duke University may closer to creating treatments in the U.S.

Cord Blood Stem Cells

The stem cells that have been at the center of much research are the mesenchymal cord blood stem cells. These stem cells are extracted from the umbilical cord blood after birth. Due to ongoing research, many parents have their child’s cord blood saved and banked incase there is a future cure that may be obtained from these cells. Although stem cells can be extracted from areas such as bone marrow, the umbilical cord blood cells are considered a younger, more versatile version.

Stem Cells And Cerebral Palsy

There has been speculation and research in to the use of stem cells as a possible treatment for cerebral palsy across the world. The hopes are to find a way to decrease inflammation and even rejuvenate damaged cells within the brain that are causing the symptoms of cerebral palsy. While there has been initial success, none of the studies have been conducted within a placebo-controlled trial. The new study at Duke University hopes to change this.

Duke University Study

A study on the use of mesenchymal cord blood stem cells on children with cerebral palsy began in 2010 at Duke Univeristy. Although the research department had already began trials using stem cells for CP in previous years, the studies did not have a placebo-control group, making the results unreliable.

The recent studies goal was to infuse 120 patients with their own banked umbilical cord blood stem cells over a two-year period. Although all patients would be eventually given the treatment, they may receive it at the beginning of the study or one year later. Since the patients and parents will not know when the actual treatment will be given, this can be tracked against any placebo effect.

A four-year old boy in California with cerebral palsy who could not move or talk before his infusions at Duke University now can talk, walk and eat on his own. The results for little Rydr Rudgers have been extremely encouraging. His doctor, Michael Chez, M.D. has just received FDA approval to start a similar study on children with autism at Sutter Neuroscience Institute.

Although the final results of the Duke study are yet to be released, there is renewed hope for those with cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders. However, there seems to be a large connection to using a person’s own stem cells that must have been banked at the time of their birth. Considering the advances already being made with the stem cells on diseases, expectant parents may want to consider banking their child’s stem cells as a precautionary measure. Since it is taken after the birth, there is no risk to the infant and it may be a cure for unknown issues later in the child’s life.

 

New Medical Treatment Methods For Cerebral Palsy Opens New Doors To PatientsA few years ago, there were only a few medical treatments that were made available for children who are afflicted by cerebral palsy. Now, through the advancement of medical technologies, children with CP can now resume their normal lives as there are more medical treatments available to reduce the symptoms of CP, as well as rid it completely.

An Inspirational Story For Children & Parents

After I read an article about a young man diagnosed with CP who went on to become an accomplished athlete, I have begun to accept and consider the major improvements on the medical aspect, particularly on the treatment of cerebral palsy.

Most of us upon hearing the word “jogging” – and the intent of doing it – makes one dread as it is a rather tiring task. However, for a certain teenager diagnosed with spastic cerebral palsy, jogging for a few miles is but only a warm up! This is the story of Matthew Taylor, who was recently featured in an article entitled, “Teen who was told he would never walk again has successfully ran a half-marathon”.

At the young age of six months, Matthew was diagnosed with CP, known as spastic cerebral palsy that severely limits the use of his arms and legs. Faced with this diagnosis, the doctors were highly doubtful that Matthew will be able to walk properly again using his legs, even when assisted by crutches or a walker.

Defying The Odds

However, even if the doctors told him about this grim diagnosis, Matthew never gave up. Instead, he did what most people wouldn’t do – prove them wrong. At 21 months, after undergoing strict physical therapy sessions, Matthew was able to take his first steps. What’s surprising about this is that he did not use any assistive devices.

Though it would be nice and rewarding for Matthew to be able to resume normal development after finishing his physical therapy sessions, it wouldn’t turn out that way as his cerebral palsy developed as well and continued to persist. Also, him being able to resume physical development was only through the help of physical therapy sessions, as well as numerous botox injections in order to reduce the damage in his legs.

As a saying once told, “nothing worth accomplishing is ever easy”.

Grit & Skilled Medical Care

Upon reaching puberty and adolescence, Matthew experienced growth spurts, which made injections and therapy sessions lose their effectiveness as his muscles and bones start to develop, albeit poorly. This made it harder for him to walk normally.

To be able to overcome Matthew’s new challenges, he must undergo a series of surgeries in which doctors will attempt to reposition Matthew’s femur, lengthen his hamstrings, and implant a pump which will release muscle relaxants like Baclofen.

Matthew, with the help of these surgeries, continued to better himself.

With the help of these new treatments, the spastic conditions were regulated and Matthew was able to control and resume some of the many activities that most teenagers of his age neglected – taking part on cross-country races and marathons. After years and years of fighting his disease, Matthew became part of his school’s cross country team – a huge feat for someone inflicted with cerebral palsy.

Still striving to better himself through his “never give up” mentality, and with the help of his doctors, Matthew plans to improve himself by participating on events such as 15k races or even half-marathons.

Matthew’s situation is a testament to how far medical advances have come. His story does not only come up as inspirational, but also hopeful, as people like Matthew can become normal with the help of medicines, as well as sheer determination and continuous support from his families and friends.

Jonathan Rosenfeld is a medical malpractice attorney in Chicago who handles birth injury lawsuits.

Scientists at Ohio’s Case Western Reserve University say they’ve made a breakthrough in treating cerebral palsy – on a microscopic level, at least.

Researchers claim they’ve found a way to replicate so-called “myelinating cells” – cells with the essential protein myelin – in a way that benefits humans.

“The ability to produce functional cells that restore myelin in mice…provides a solid framework to produce analogous human cells,” said Robert Miller, vice-dean for research at the Case Western Reserve Medical School.

“Myelin” is a layer of protein that coats nerve cells called “neurons.” Myelin helps facilitate communication between cells, and is largely absent in the neurons of those with cerebral palsy. A lack of myelin – or “nerve damage” – often results in loss of coordination and cognitive function.

Researchers at Case Western Reserve manipulated diseased mouse cells using hormones and growth factors. In just 10 days, the cells had begun to produce myelin.

Based on their findings, scientists believe that future human stem cell transplants might help CP sufferers. The transplants, they believe, would induce cells to begin making more myelin.

An article about the study was published in the September online issue of Nature Methods.