Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a neurological disorder that affects muscle movement and coordination. It is the most common cause of childhood disability globally. The word “Cerebral” means occurring in the “cerebrum” region of the brain while “palsy” refers to paralysis of the voluntary movements of the body. “Cerebrum” is the largest region of the brain which is responsible for communication skills, learning and fine tuning of movements. As a result, people with CP have impaired vision, speech or hearing. While many patients have normal intellectual abilities, some proportion of CP patients have an increased risk of development of cognitive disabilities. CP patients have difficulty in performing routine everyday activities depending on the severity of the condition such as walking, sitting or balancing. The first five years of development of child’s brain are extremely critical and any damage to the brain before or after birth could lead to cerebral palsy such an infection during pregnancy, or lack of oxygen supply from an injury.
Living with Cerebral Palsy could be adaunting challenge in itself. CP patients may need to depend on wheelchairs or bath seats for performing activities. Having a disability can affect their social life and can lead to mental trauma for many patients. Current treatments are focused on improvement in the quality of life and each line of treatment will be different for each child. This may include medications for muscle pain and stiffness, orthopaedic surgery, speech therapy or physical therapy.
Stem cell therapy for Cerebral Palsy
Current treatments of cerebral palsy do not provide permanent cure to the patients and they may need to take medication or therapies life-long for managing the symptoms. Recent studies have shown stem cell treatment as an effective and promising solution for Cerebral Palsy patients. Research has demonstrated promising results with patients developing improvement in their motor skills as well as cognitive functions such as better concentration, memory and language skills. Stem cell therapy is completely safe and uses patient’s own stem cells which are transplanted into the brain. Stem cells help to replace the damaged neurons in the brain and enhance recovery from injury by releasing therapeutic growth factors. Patients undergoing stem cell treatment show significant improvement in muscle strength and tone. They also have more coordinated movements and stable posture. It therefore drastically improves the quality of life of patients. It can make patients feel more confident and independent as they may not have to depend on wheelchairs or caretakers for everyday activities. Stem cell therapy is most effective when administered at early stages of a child’s life since that is when the brain is developing and will respond the most.