Cerebral Palsy Blog

Cerebral Palsy Blog

Heartwarming Ad on Athlete with Cerebral Palsy

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The words “award-winning athlete” and “cerebral palsy” are not typically the words that you hear in a single breath, unless you're talking about the Special Olympics. However, a 20–year-old athlete with cerebral palsy is conquering new horizons, and is the subject of a new Gatorade ad.

The ad titled “Ben Jackson, Never Finished” features the 20-year-old Jackson, who was born with cerebral palsy. Doctors didn’t believe that he would walk. However, he managed not only to walk, but also ride a bicycle and even play basketball. Soon however, Jackson developed an interest in wrestling. Initially, he struggled at the sport, and did not win a single match during his first season. However, by the end of high school, he was not only winning matches, but also winning awards for wrestling.

He went on to compete in about 12 matches a year, and soon moved on to participating in tournaments, as well as individual contests. In all these contests, he was treated like just any other regular athletes, and not a disabled athlete. There were just a few accommodations made for his disability, but apart from that, he wasn't given any special treatment, and continued to participate like any able-bodied athlete. All these accomplishments in his bag don't seem to have satisfied Jackson. His next target is conquering weight lifting.

Jackson is an inspiration to anyone living with cerebral palsy or any other neurological condition.

Success stories like Jackson's are rare, but not unheard of. As medical science improves, and as parents learn more about cerebral palsy and the kind of opportunities they can offer to a child with cerebral palsy in order to give him a better shot at a “normal” life, stories like this will only increase in number.

Could Cerebral Palsy Run in Families?

Thursday, July 03, 2014

New evidence points to a possible link between families and cerebral palsy. The study which was published by The BMJ found that babies who are born into families where there is already a person with cerebral palsy have the highest risk of developing the condition themselves.

This is not the first time that studies have pointed to a link between family, and the development of cerebral palsy. However, according to the research which was conducted by a team of Norway scientists, the positive findings earlier were hard to replicate. In the study, the researchers investigated the recurrence of cerebral palsy in families in which there was already one person with the condition, to determine whether there were hereditary patterns at work here.

The study involved approximately 2 million Norwegians born between 1957 and 2002. The researchers found a total of 3,649 cases of cerebral palsy, which worked out to a rate of 1.8 for every 1000 children. The rate was found to be higher among twins with a rate of 5.1 per 1000 births compared to a rate of 1.7 for every 1000 births among non-twins.

Among twins of affected children, the risks were higher. If one parent developed the condition, the risk that the child would also develop the condition, was roughly 15 times higher. Among families that already had one child with cerebral palsy, the risk was higher for subsequent siblings. First-degree relatives had a cerebral palsy risk that was 6 to 9 times higher, and second-degree relatives had a degree that was approximately 3 times higher.

The researchers believe that over time, as more children with cerebral palsy have the opportunity to become parents themselves, any further link between families and cerebral palsy will be investigated more thoroughly.