Procedure for Cerebral Palsy - Stem Cell Treatment

General Surgery

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is often described as a group of permanent movement disorders which usually appear in early childhood.

Cerebral Palsy Causes

Cerebral palsy is often caused by injury to brain or problem during pregnancy/birth. It can be caused by:

  • Head injury
  • Genetic: problems passed from parent to child affecting the  brain development
  • Reduced supply of blood/oxygen/other nutrients during birth or before birth
  • Premature birth (Problems from being born too early)
  • Infection like meningitis which affect the brain

Cerebral Palsy Symptoms

Cerebral Palsy Symptoms are classified into the following types:

Muscular symptoms
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Difficulty with movements
  • Involuntary movements
  • Co-ordination problems
  • Permanent muscle shortening
  • Muscular rigidity
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Overactive reflexes
  • Paralysis of one side
Developmental symptoms
  • Failure to thrive
  • Learning disability
  • Slow growth
  • Speech delay (in children)
Speech Symptoms
  • Speech disorder
  • Stuttering
Other Symptoms
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Drooling
  • Hearing loss
  • Physical deformity
  • Scissor gait
  • Spastic gait
  • Teeth grinding
  • Tremor

Cerebral Palsy Treatment

Depending on the severity of the condition, the cerebral palsy treatment can be as follows:

  • Exercise: A physical exercise like cardio training for half an hour is beneficial. The exercise avoids the muscle injury and also ensures physical function during recovery
  • Cerebral palsy awareness: Special education and awareness that focuses on understanding the needs of the CP patients
Therapy Options
  • Occupational Therapy for improving daily life
  • Stretching exercises to improve flexibility and physical function
  • Physical Therapy:For restoring the function and strength of the muscles

Two types of medications are generally used in CP:

  • Muscle Relaxants:To decrease the muscle tension and for relieving muscle pain/discomfort.
  • Sedatives
  • Gastrostomy: A surgical insertion of a tube through the abdomen into the stomach for the purpose of feeding or drainage is called Gastrostomy.

Cerebral Palsy Life Span

Depending on the severity of the condition the cerebral palsy life span is approximately between 30 and 70 years.

Stem Cell Therapy in Cerebral Palsy

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from umbilical cord can be considered as the universal donor cells.

The stem cell treatment involving MSCs helps in treating the cerebral palsy in the following ways:

  • By stimulating repair of damaged nervous tissue in the brain and the spinal cord
  • Promoting neuronal growth
  • Inducing new blood vessel growth
  • Neurogenesis and astroglial activation
  • Encourage synaptic connection and axonal remyelination
  • Decreasing the programmed cell death, and regulate microglial activation
  • Mesenchymal stem cells stimulate brain repair after stroke and traumatic brain injury

Advantages of Stem Cell Therapy in Cerebral Palsy

  • The umbilical cord tissue offers the abundant supply of MSCs
  • The mesenchymal stem cells are immune system privileged; hence, the cell rejection is not a problem also the Human Leukocyte Antigen matching is not necessary.
  • The allogeneic stem cells can be administered multiple times over a period of days in uniform dosages containing high cell counts

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