Study: Therapy may improve cerebral palsy patients’ motor skills

Cerebral palsy is a term that is used to describe disorders that babies may suffer before, during or after birth. Cerebral palsy may affect one’s muscle tone, motor skills or cognitive abilities. The condition may also lead to learning disabilities, problems with one’s vision or speech, and other health complications.

The cause of cerebral palsy is not entirely known, meaning that cerebral palsy is a condition that cannot always be avoided. However, it is known that medical malpractice committed during the birthing process that leads to a baby being deprived of oxygen and suffering brain damage is one cause of cerebral palsy.

Children who have cerebral palsy cannot be cured of the condition, but they may be able to benefit from medical treatment and therapy. And according to a new study that was recently published in the journal Pediatrics, one type of therapy may be especially helpful for cerebral palsy patients.

For the study, researchers focused on using Constraint-Induced Movement (CI) therapy on children who had cerebral palsy. Researchers took MRI scans during various stages of the study to track any changes in children’s brains. What researchers discovered was that CI therapy, which forces individuals to use limbs with limited motor functions while limbs with better motor functions are constrained, helped to improve children’s motor skills and the therapy also resulted in increased gray matter in children’s brains.

Researchers said that the correlation between increased gray matter and improved motor skills may suggest that CI therapy either helps to increase gray matter, which in turn helps to improve motor skills, or the therapy helps to improve motor skills, which in turn increases gray matter in the brain. Researchers hope to conduct additional studies that may result in better therapy options for children who are living with cerebral palsy.

If your child has cerebral palsy and his or her condition was the result of medical malpractice, you will want to consult an attorney who will stand up for your rights and protect your interests. No child should have to suffer a serious or disabling condition because a medical professional deviated from the accepted standard of care when delivering a baby. But when mistakes are made during labor or birth that end up harming babies, families do deserve to recover compensation for their children’s medical needs, including treatment options that may help to improve their medical conditions and minimize their impairments.

Source: AL.com, “Gray matter grows in brains of children with cerebral palsy following therapy, study finds,” Mike Oliver, April 22, 2013


Birth Injuries

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