Pumps & bunnies: The keys to cerebral palsy?


MOVEMENT DISORDERS: Movement disorders are a group of neurological conditions that cause a person to have abnormal voluntary or involuntary movements, or slow, reduced movements. There are many different movement disorders which include Parkinson's disease, dystonia, ataxia, Huntington's disease, Tourette syndrome, and Wilson's disease. (Source: www.mayoclinic.com). Some movement disorders can make it difficult or impossible to walk normally and a common symptom is Dyskinesia which results in broken or jerky movements, including tremors. Causes of movement disorders include nerve diseases (i.e. Parkinson's disease), injuries, infections, autoimmune diseases, and certain medicines, although many are inherited. Treatment varies for the different disorders. (Source: www.nlm.nih.gov)

CEREBRAL PALSY: Cerebral palsy is a disorder of movement, muscle tone, or posture which causes impaired movement such as involuntary movements, rigidity of the limbs and trunk, unsteadiness of walking, or a combination of these symptoms. Cerebral palsy may contribute to other neurological problems such as seizures, intellectual disabilities, abnormal touch or pain perceptions, urinary incontinence, and difficulty with vision and hearing. The cause of cerebral palsy is an abnormality or disruption in brain development before or during a child's birth, or sometimes in the first few years of life. Many times the exact cause of the abnormality is unknown but some factors that may lead to problems with brain development include lack of oxygen, maternal infections, infant infections, fetal stroke, random mutations, and traumatic brain injury. There is no cure for cerebral palsy but treatments and medications that may help exist. (Source: www.mayoclinic.com)

ITB THERAPY (BACLOFEN PUMP): Medtronic ITB Therapy, also called the baclofen pump, is an adjustable, reversible treatment for severe spasticity. A surgically placed pump and catheter deliver liquid baclofen directly to the fluid around the spinal cord, where it's needed most.  Because Lioresal Intrathecal is delivered directly to where it's needed most in the spinal fluid, it relieves spasticity with smaller amounts of medication than when baclofen is taken orally. This method of delivery may help minimize side effects that can result from oral baclofen. People who suffer from severe spasticity resulting from cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, brain injury, or spinal cord injury may be a candidate for ITB Therapy. (SOURCE: www.medtronic.com)

NAC: Researchers at the National Institute of health replicated in rabbits the brain inflammation often seen in people with cerebral palsy. They then used tiny molecules known as dendrimers to deliver an anti-inflammatory drug called N-acetyl-L-cysteine, or NAC, directly to the affected part of the brain.The rabbits that received this treatment showed marked progress as compared to those who received saline or NAC alone without the targeted drug delivery, though benefits were seen in both groups that received medication.The cause of the dendrimers' attraction to immune cells is unknown. (Source: journal Science Translational Medicine)

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Heather Kirksey
Public Relations Coordinator
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta