Cerebral Palsy: Hope Through Cell Therapy
What You Need To Know About Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is one of the most common physical disability childhood conditions, affecting an estimated 17 million worldwide. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention’s  estimates, about 1 in 345 children suffer from Cerebral Palsy. It is a varying degree of disabling condition that affects movement and posture.
Currently, no cure is in sight and most researches are targeted to understanding the brain development, finding ways to alleviate the symptoms and reducing further brain damage, in the hope of making life more manageable for these children.
Can Cell Therapy Help Cerebral Palsy?
The advancement of neuroscience today however is gearing towards the effort of finding a possible cure in the realms of Cell Therapy. Although still in its early stages, Cell Therapy for Cerebral Palsy shows a positive progress and many believe that the cure rest solely within this domain. However, through history, classical cell therapy has been practiced in Europe as a form of treatment for Cerebral Palsy for more than 30 years.
Treatment for Cerebral Palsy is multifaceted, consisting of an early intervention treatment and a lifelong management care. Cell Therapy is most effective when prescribed earliest after diagnosis. The earlier, the better – certainly before the age of 4 to 5 years, while the brain is still receptive and developing.
The aim of Cell Therapy is to stimulate and regenerate the corresponding parts of the surviving brain cells and enhance the maturation process of the central nervous system. In view of the varied types of Cerebral Palsy, each patient prescription needs to depend on the neurodevelopment and pathophysiology assessments, as different type of Cerebral Palsy requires different type of brain cells to address the condition specifically.
Cell Therapy alone is not sufficient, as it has to be coupled with other supporting multidisciplinary developmental therapy programs. It needs to also focus on nurturing a child’s mental and social development to ensure the optimal quality of life towards self-sufficiency as they transition into adulthood.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is an overall term that covers a wide-ranging disorder that affects movement, balance and posture due to damages to the brain. It is classified or grouped into 4 types by the location of paralysis and levels of severity – Spastic, Athetoid/Dyskinetic, Ataxic and Mixed. Spastic Cerebral Palsy makes up for 70% of most CP cases.
Besides physical disabilities, Cerebral Palsy often comes with associated conditions that could jeopardise a child’s quality of life. These secondary conditions that commonly co-occur with Cerebral Palsy include oral motor impairment (feeding, swallowing difficulty and drooling), respiratory issues, speech impairment, intellectual disabilities, learning challenges, visual impairment, hearing loss, seizure, sensory issues and poor nutrition.
Although its specific cause is unknown, what we do know is that Cerebral Palsy occurs from the damages or abnormalities of the infant brain, usually before, during or within 5 years of birth that prevents proper brain development. Common causes could be attributed to hypoxia (low oxygen levels), head injury, maternal infections such as rubella, brain bleeding or infection and severe jaundice. Considering that this condition affects the brain and nervous system, it is a really challenging condition to treat and an even harder one to comprehend.
Sources:  Centers of Disease Control and Prevention