About Cerebral Palsy Stem Cell Therapy
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What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a general term used to describe the impacts of damages on a growing brain due to numerous causes. The brain damage occurs at the early stages of the brain growth. It may occur during the gestation period or soon after delivery. Cerebral palsy affects individuals in different ways.Symptoms of cerebral palsy
There are many symptoms that may portray cerebral palsy. However, the most common of them include difficulties in:
Types of cerebral palsy
- Speech intellectual ability
- Eye coordination
- Motor and balance control
- Muscle movement
The type of cerebral palsy on a child depends on the damaged brain area. An MRI brain scan is used to make the diagnosis on the type of disorder. Further observations are made before the final declaration is made. These observations may include crawling, sitting posture and walking. There are four types of cerebral palsy which are:
Causes of cerebral palsy
- Ataxic: It mainly affects the child’s movements in terms of depth perception, posture, gait, and control of eyes.
- Spastic: This is the most common type which totally harbors muscle movement, speech, and bladder complications.
- Dyskinetic: This is the most lethal form of cerebral palsy which causes changes in muscle tone and involuntary movements.
- Mixed cerebral palsy: This type involves more than one of the other types of cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy may occur during pregnancy, injury, illness or other complications at birth. The exact cause of the brain damages cannot be isolated. However, the generalized causes may be as follows:
Treatment of cerebral palsy
- Critical illnesses that may cause oxygen shortage to the brain
- Unusual development of the brain
- Changes in the brain cell composition
- Physical injuries or infections during birth
- Premature birth
Cerebral palsy poses a challenge in treatment since it can end up causing damages to all the other cells and their interconnections. The best scenario is controlling it through therapy sessions. Both occupational and physiotherapy help in the recovery of mobility, speech, and communication. Muscle relaxants are also used on the stiffened muscles. There are other antibiotics that may be available for enhancing feeding habits of the child.Current research: stem cell therapy
There are upcoming treatment trials which are still in the research stage and have not yet been released for use. There are various options on trial that involve stem cells but still do not offer a cerebral palsy cure. However, they can limit the damage happening in the brain cells and also reduce the symptoms. It is especially hard to treat the disorder since the damaged cells are irreversible. The stem cell procedures further help in minimizing the effects of the brain damages. There is a lot of work to be done before a cure for this disorder can be discovered.Types of Stems Cells used in cerebral palsy research
There are four distinct stem cells used during animal testing when researching neonatal trauma and injuries. They include:
- Induced pluripotent stem cells – need to be generated from another source
- Natural stem cells- occur naturally from one's body
- Umbilical cord stem cells- these are donated by mothers after a normal, healthy birth
- Mesenchymal stem cells (MCS)- these stimulate brain repair after a stroke or traumatic brain injury
Each type of cell has its advantages and disadvantages. MCS type is preferred for new injuries and disorders. The umbilical cord tissue cells support the use for neonatal insults thereby having an advantage over the Mesenchymal stem cells. Other benefits that the Human umbilical cord cells have over the Mesenchymal stem cells include:
- Can be used to treat anyone.
- They give a huge supply of MCS
- They can be administered numerous times
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