STEM CELL TREATMENT FOR CEREBRAL PALSY
Cerebal palsy is a disorder of movement and form linked to damage in the brain caused before or after birth, or during delivery.
Types of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy portrays different characteristics and is divided into categories in accordance with the location of the damage in the brain.
The Spastic type
Spasticity is the increased tone of muscle in the arms and legs. This limits movement. It is divided into types based on the location of the spasticity in the body.
- Diparesis : Spasticity is present in the legs only.
- Hemiparesis: Spasticity is present in one side of the body.
- Tetraparesis: Spasticity is present in the arms and legs.
The Dyskinetic types
- The athetoid type: Children with involuntary and slow twirling of the upper segments of the arms and legs
- The dystonic type: Children with spasms similar to the twisting of a pipe or twirling. The spasm increases with voluntary movement. It is observed more frequently in the upper portions of the arms and legs.
- Ataxia: A disorder of coordination. The child has difficulty maintaining balance while walking.
- Hypotonia: No spasms are present in the body. A completely contrary state of looseness is present.
Treatment alternatives in cerebral palsy
- To enable the prevention of structural disorders that could result from the spasms
- To decrease spasms through the use of different techniques
- To increase the functional capacity of the child to enable increased independence in the daily life of the child
- To select the equipment needed by the child and to teach the child to use of the equipment
- To regulate nutrition
- To hinder the fits
- To take general health precautions
- To decrease spasticity
- Neurosurgical interventions
Spasticity surgery should be undertaken if rehabilatation fails to yield results, the spasms make daily care difficult and cause pain upon the child.
- Selective dorsal rhizotomy
- Deep brain simulation
- Baclofen pump implantation
Shortening of the muscles that prevent the growth of the child, or structural irregularities in the joints require orthopedic intervention.
Special education in cerebral palsy begins with the interventions done upon the child in proportion with his/her physical insufficiency and the training of the child on the usage of the supplementary equipment necessary. After independence in the usage of such equipment has been obtained, education is planned in accordance wit the intellectual performance of the individual.
The patient is evaluated based upon his/her language development and speech particularities, determining the level and method of communication established. Goals of communication aiming to increase independence in daily life are identified, and therapy is provided. Nutritional therapy, including the support and education of the family, is provided, based on an evaluation of chewing and swallowing skills. The selection and usage of alternative systems of communication and other therapy tools to enable or advance communication serve as a guide for the family.
Other problems observed in children with cerebral palsy
- Issues of intelligence
- Problems of nutrition (absence of swallowing and chewing skills)
- Speech difficulties
- Issues of teeth
- Vision disorders
- Difficulty in hearing
- Respiratory disorders
- Urinary problems (toilet control)
The treatment of cerebral palsy is done by a multidisciplinary team. All members of the team must be present in the center in which the child with cerebral palsy is undergoing treatment. Periodic councils must be organized, in which all members of the team are present for a joint evaluation of the patient. The objective of such councils is for a simultanous evaluation of the patient by all members of the team, and the formation of a treatment plan.