Cerebral Palsy Blog

Cerebral Palsy Blog

Researchers Announce Breakthrough in Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis

Friday, June 20, 2014

A team of Australian researchers have exciting news. They say that they will soon present what they believe is a sensational breakthrough in the diagnosis and treatment of cerebral palsy.

According to them, the new tool that they have developed allows doctors to identify whether the child is suffering from cerebral palsy much earlier. Typically, diagnosis is made months after the baby is born, and treatment begins months later too. According to news reports, some hospitals in Australia are currently already using the method to diagnose cerebral palsy in newborn infants. The Cerebral Palsy Alliance is also calling for the use of such techniques in clinics across the world.

Not only does the tool help in diagnosing the condition earlier, but also helps parents use motor learning approaches as the best ways to optimize the brain that has been damaged as a result of oxygen deprivation at birth. They believe that if these techniques and approaches are used very early in the condition, they may be able to help reduce the severity of the condition over the long-term.

They believe that cerebral palsy can be accurately diagnosed around the three-month mark, with 95% accuracy using the tool. Babies can be screened for cerebral palsy and identifying the babies who are most at risk of cerebral palsy will help stage an early intervention.

Cerebral palsy is a condition that very often occurs, as a result of oxygen deprivation at birth or just before birth. A number of other factors may also be at work. For instance, maternal health history, maternal health during pregnancy, and conditions during labor, may also play a role in causing the condition.

Baby's Blood Could Help Prevent Cerebral Palsy

Sunday, June 01, 2014

New research seems to point to the protective and beneficial qualities in a baby’s own blood, that could help fight back the chances of cerebral palsy.

Pre-clinical studies were conducted by Melbourne researchers at the MIMR-phi Institute of Medical Research, and found that the cord blood of newborn babies, if given back to the baby within the first 12 hours of life, can actually help reduce the risk of long-term brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation at birth.

Birth oxygen deprivation is a major cause of cerebral palsy in babies. The oxygen deprivation can occur either during labor, or during the process of delivery. If the oxygen deprivation is serious enough, or if there has been a blockage of oxygen supply to the brain for a prolonged period of time, the baby could suffer from symptoms of cerebral palsy and long-term brain damage.

According to the researchers, they found in their study that when babies were administered cord blood within 12 hours after birth, the risk of cerebral palsy was dramatically reduced. They are now looking at the specific properties in the cord blood that could give the maximum benefit to baby. They're currently looking at three types of stem cells in the cord that could help prevent long-term brain damage. These include mesenchymal stem cells that repair nervous tissue damage in the brain, endothelial progenitor cells which are responsible for the flow of blood to the injured region, and T-regulatory cells which have established anti-imprimatur properties.

The pre-clinical trials were conducted on sheep, and cord blood from lambs was injected back into the animal within 12 hours after the injury. A national human clinical trial on human beings is likely to follow suit.

Labor-Related Complications Can Cause Cerebral Palsy

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Oxygen deprivation or asphyxia is one of the primary causes of cerebral palsy. This is a condition in which the brain is deprived of oxygen with possibly long-term consequences, like cerebral palsy.

Asphyxia can occur when there are complications during delivery. One of those common complications involve problem with the umbilical cord. The risk can also be high if there is a prolapsed cord - the baby can choke when the cord tangles around his neck.

Asphyxia can also occur in cases where the mother bleeds heavily during delivery, and in those cases, where the baby's head does not enter the birth canal head- first during labor. In some cases, the baby's head is much too big to enter the birth canal, which causes a prolonged delivery. All of these situations contain a potential risk of oxygen deprivation.

Other labor-related complications can include maternal shock in which the mother suffers heavy bleeding, resulting in fetal distress. Sometimes, the delivery may involve shoulders impeding delivery. These cases can also result in oxygen deprivation.

Often, mistakes during the labor and delivery process are related to negligence on the part of the medical personnel involved. For instance, during a prolonged delivery, the baby needs to be delivered immediately via Cesarean -section. A delayed Cesarean–section must be could expose the baby to the risk of oxygen deprivation. Many labor-related causes of cerebral palsy, in fact, can be prevented.

Labor-related complications during birth are not the biggest cause of cerebral palsy. Other factors play a much bigger role in causing this condition. In fact, birth injury accounts for just 8 percent of cerebral palsy cases. However, these cases are much more preventable than risk factors that involve pregnancy, maternal history, birth defects and other causes of cerebral palsy.