The birth of a child is an exciting event for everyone involved. Healthcare providers are there to help ensure everything goes smoothly. Unfortunately, even when highly skilled professionals are assisting in the delivery, sometimes problems or mistakes occur that result in birth injuries.
Cerebral palsy refers to a group of disorders affecting balance, posture and movement. The condition is caused when the brain sustains injury in the womb, during birth or in the first few years of life. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the U.S. roughly 1 in 300 children have cerebral palsy. Currently there is no cure for cerebral palsy, but a new drug is showing some promising results.
Researchers think that if the drug is administered during a critical window of time it may improve mobility in patients with cerebral palsy. So far only rabbits have been treated with the drug, but those that received it showed significant improvements in their walking ability and ability to control movements.
In addition to improving mobility, there is also hope that the drug will improve other symptoms of cerebral palsy like developmental delays. The drug targets brain cells in the white matter of the brain. Although developmental delays are caused by damage to gray matter in the brain, the researchers saw improvements in this area as well.
Experts think that the earlier the treatment is administered the more effective it will be. Further testing will determine how the drug impacts cognitive development.
Source: Fox News, "Cerebral palsy drug may offer hope for treatment," Rachael Rettner, April, 19, 2012.