Currently, there is no cure for cerebral palsy. However, cerebral palsy is one of the most common disorders in the nation, and with ongoing research, scientists are optimistic that one day, a cure will be found.
Searching for a Cerebral Palsy Cure
Although there is no current cure for cerebral palsy, physicians and scientists are continuously working on ways to find one. Some of the recent methods physicians and scientists are testing out, include:
- Brain cell reparation
- More intervention techniques to help prevent brain cancer
- Stem cell research
Stem cell research continues to show beneficial results in a way to prevent or repair damaged brain cells, which can lead to cerebral palsy. A recent experiment conducted on mice at Harvard Medical School showed that injecting the animals with stem cell implants resulted in damaged brain waves being replaced.
However, since the study was performed on mice, there’s no proof that it will on humans with cerebral palsy. Yet, scientist and physicians continue to work on the research and are hopeful that in the future, stem cells can help cure cerebral palsy.
Another method of helping to find the cure for cerebral palsy is ongoing clinical trials. Some clinical trials include stem cells and bone marrow research, such as the University of Houston clinical study performed by Charles A. Cox.
Other types of clinical studies include pilot tests using an infant’s own umbilical cord and testing the effectiveness of cord blood infusions.
Additional Research for a Cerebral Palsy Cure
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), there are numerous types of ongoing research being performed in an attempt to find a cure for cerebral palsy.
For example, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, an organization that works with NIH, continues to conduct basic and clinical research on a cure for cerebral palsy. In addition, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) also continues to conduct its own research into a cerebral palsy cure.
Results from previous indicate that many children develop cerebral palsy due to brain damage during early brain development. Therefore, scientists are studying brain nerve cells and trying to figure out a way to stop any activity that disrupts the neuron’s normal brain pattern.
In addition, scientists are also researching human genes that may cause malformations that lead to cerebral palsy. They are currently gathering numerous DNA samples from people with cerebral palsy in order to screen the genes for genetic abnormalities.
Newborn infants’ brains that have injuries and disorders such as bleeding, infections, and seizures are also being studied in an attempt to learn how brain chemicals become toxic, which can lead to conditions such as cerebral palsy.
Furthermore, scientists are scrutinizing white matter damage around the brain’s ventricles. White matter damage remains one the most common reason for cerebral palsy. Research, sponsored by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), is allowing scientists and researchers a way to examine how brain chemicals play a role in white matter development, which can hopefully lead to preventative strategies that will help cure cerebral palsy.
Current Treatment Available For Cerebral Palsy
In the meantime, there is a myriad of treatment options available to help children with cerebral palsy live quality and productive lives. The most common types of treatment options (which may vary according to each child’s unique needs) include:
- Therapy, including speech, physical, occupational, and cognitive therapy
- Medications to help with pain, seizures, spasticity, excessive drooling, and more
- Special education assistance and counseling
- Surgical options, if needed
In addition, scientists are also looking into new and alternative therapies in an attempt to find a cerebral palsy cure. Current therapies research include:
- Constraint-induced therapy (CIT)
- Botulinum toxin (Botox)
- Functional electrical stimulation (FES)
- Systemic hypothermia
For more in-depth information regarding treatment options, refer to our article, Cerebral Palsy Treatment.
How To Get More Information On Current Cerebral Palsy Studies
To obtain additional information on cerebral palsy studies and research for a cure, contact the Institute’s Brain Resources and Information Network (BRAIN) at 1-800-352-9424.
For information on ongoing treatment information, contact the United Cerebral Palsy organization at 1-800-872-5827.