Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Experimental treatment yields new hope for children battling cerebral palsy

02.02.2004


Children with cerebral palsy who are severely impaired showed significant improvement in their motor skills using a new experimental physical therapy regimen, said researchers at Georgetown University and University of Alabama at Birmingham. The study – the first randomized, controlled trial of its kind conducted on children – appears in the February 2 issue of the journal Pediatrics.



All treated children in this study outperformed the children in conventional therapy across all measures of success, including how well they could move their arms post-therapy and their ability to do new tasks during research and at home with their families.

Children with cerebral palsy (CP) exhibit an inability to control their muscles as a result of damage to the region of the brain that controls muscle tone. The result often renders children unable to perform seemingly simple everyday tasks such as picking up a cup, eating finger foods or reaching to be picked up by a parent. Conventional physical therapy interventions have done little to improve motor skills or overall quality of life for children, which led researchers to explore other more intensive and innovative therapies.


Georgetown professor Sharon Landesman Ramey while working at the University of Alabama (UAB), in collaboration with Drs. Stephanie DeLuca and Karen Echols, borrowed from the world of adult stroke recovery treatments to try "constraint-induced movement therapy" on children with CP. This therapy was pioneered by Dr. Edward Taub at UAB, and has shown significant results in helping adults recover motor function post-stroke.

"The pediatric version of constraint-induced movement therapy we created has produced very large and lasting benefits for these children," said Ramey, professor at Georgetown’s School of Nursing & Health Studies and Co-director of Georgetown’s Center for Health and Education. "Every child in the study responded to this treatment. Rather than languishing in less effective regimens, children and their families now have hope for drastic improvements. We are understandably thrilled by these results, and look forward to testing them with broader groups of children with cerebral palsy."

Working with 18 children with CP, researchers placed the children’s stronger arms in a cast, which the children wore for 3 weeks, and then gave them six hours of therapy per day for 21 consecutive days to retrain the weaker arm and hand to move. The control group received conventional physical therapy, which is much less time intensive and involved no casting of one side. Across all measures, the constraint induced therapy produced enhanced motor function in the weaker arm; six months after therapy the children still had sustained benefits.

CP affects at least two in 1,000 children in the United States, and approximately one million children under the age of 21 in the industrialized world. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are many possible causes of the brain damage that results in CP, including genetic conditions and problems with blood supply to the brain during pregnancy. Other causes of CP arise after the brain has developed. These causes can occur during later pregnancy, delivery, or the first years of the child’s life. They include bacterial meningitis and other infections, bleeding in the brain, lack of oxygen, severe jaundice and head injury.

The CDC’s website states that the lifetime costs for a person with were about $800,000 (in year 2000 dollars), not including expenses such as caregiver costs for children or adults with cerebral palsy that might have to be borne by families.

"CP can devastate children and their families emotionally and financially," said Ramey. "If our research leads to improved and accelerated treatment for CP, resulting in real shifts in quality of life for children, we will indeed have something to be very proud of."


This research was supported by the National and Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health, Alabama Health Services Foundation, the Civitan International Foundation, the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through our partnership with MedStar Health). Our mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis--or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies, both nationally ranked, and the world renowned Lombardi Cancer Center. For more, please visit www.georgetown.edu/gumc.

Georgetown University’s School of Nursing was founded in 1903. The Health Studies track was added in 1998 to reflect the changing face of 21st-century health care. The School of Nursing & Health Studies seeks to improve the health and well-being of all people through innovative education in the fields of nursing and health studies. For more information, visit http://snhs.georgetown.edu.

Lindsey Spindle | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://gumc.georgetown.edu/
http://snhs.georgetown.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht 3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

PR of MCC: Carbon removal from atmosphere unavoidable for 1.5 degree target

22.05.2018 | Earth Sciences

Achema 2018: New camera system monitors distillation and helps save energy

22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>