New Technique Introduced To Help Muscle Control In People With Cerebral Palsy
A therapy being tested at a New York University is providing new hope to those living with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects cognitive development, movement and muscle control. While not all of the causes of cerebral palsy are known, it is linked to trauma to the brain occurring at or close to the time of birth. The severity of the condition is based on the kind of damage to the brain of the newborn. The condition is chronic and will not get better or worse over time. It is important to note that medical errors of various kinds are known causes of cerebral palsy. If you believe your child has suffered a birth injury as the result of medical malpractice, consulting with an experienced California birth lawyer is an important first step.
Symptoms of cerebral palsy can include loss of movement or other functions related to the nervous system. It affects brain development and can cause abnormal hearing and eyesight as well as cognitive difficulties such as the ability to think and learn. It may also manifest as uncontrolled movement of the limbs, troubles in being able to walk, abnormal posture and trouble with balance and coordination. These warning signs commonly appear by the time the child is 2 years old but may show up earlier.
Recently developed protocols – such as cooling therapy – have provided some help to those who suffered birth trauma by limiting its severity. When there are indications that a brain injury has occurred during the birth process, a special water cooled cap or blanket is placed on the newborn to reduce the body temperature by a few degrees. This process is called therapeutic hypothermia and is administered for three days. A brain injury can be caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain and in cooling the baby's body temperature, it reduces the brain's need for oxygen and lessens the severity of an injury. It allows the body to try to repair itself.
Another technique – still in development at the College of Staten Island – shows great promise as well for improving the mobility of those affected by cerebral palsy. This technique involves using a device similar to an MRI to send electrical signals to specific muscle groups as well as the spinal cord. The “PathMaker Neuromuscular Treatment System” uses electrical and magnetic stimulation to improve mobility in those individuals with cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries and strokes – all of which originate in the brain.
For more information about cerebral palsy or other birth injuries, please contact a skilled California birth injury attorney at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for a free consultation.