Category Archives for "Treatment"

5 Promising Treatment for Rare Cerebral Palsy Type

Dystonia-choreoathetosis affects approximately 10 percent of all cerebral palsy patients and it is notoriously difficult to treat. However, a new study by French researchers shows promise for treating this form of cerebral palsy.

Using what is known as bilateral pallidal deep brain stimulation (BP-DBS), researchers were able to improve motor symptoms in 8 out of 13 cerebral palsy patients who participated in the trial. Improvement in motor functioning was based on a movement rating scale and ranged from 21 to 55 percent, with an average of 24.4 percent. The researchers also found that the deep brain stimulation helped to reduce pain.

Deep brain stimulation involves the use of an implantable device that operates similar to a pacemaker. Whereas a pacemaker uses electrical currents to help regulate heartbeat, deep brain stimulation uses electrical impulses to help the brain control movement in the body.

Although the initial results are promising, researchers made sure to point out that the study was small and additional research is necessary – particularly with regard to treating cerebral palsy symptoms in children.


2 Improving Cerebral Palsy Symptoms with Lokomat Therapy

Intensive locomotion therapy is a relatively new area of research in treating cerebral palsy symptoms in children, and clinical studies involving the Pediatric Lokomat® have so far shown positive results.

What is the Pediatric Lokomat?

The Pediatric Lokomat is essentially a robotic treadmill training device. Unlike manual treadmill training that requires the assistance of a physical therapist, the Pediatric Lokomat uses robotic gait orthoses and harnesses to guide a child through the session. The device monitors the patient’s movements and can be adjusted to meet individual needs.

The Pediatric Lokomat is appropriate for children over the age of four with cerebral palsy and other gait-impaired patients.

Clinical research projects involving the Pediatric Lokomat can be found at various hospitals across the United States. Your child’s medical providers may be able to provide you more information regarding this particular type of therapy.



2 Robot Therapy Shows Promise for Improving CP Symptoms

Engineers at MIT are finding that robot-based therapy can aid limb movement in children affected by cerebral palsy symptoms. Previous research has focused on how robotics can assist adults who have suffered stroke, but scientist Hermano Igo Krebs and colleagues wanted to test the therapy on children, whose brains are more impressionable.

Right now research is focused on using robotics to help children with cerebral palsy reach and grasp objects. According to the researchers, the robotic treatments are able to accomplish a couple of things:

  • To reduce impairment
  • To enable and create neural connections

One in 278 children in the United States has cerebral palsy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and research into treatments is ongoing.


Does Your Child’s Brace Fit Properly?

Ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) are types of braces commonly used to treat certain cerebral palsy symptoms – for instance, AFOs may be used to support weak limbs or they may be used to hold contracted muscles in a normal position.

Fit is everything when it comes to AFOs. In fact, achieving optimal results depends on the proper fit and alignment of the brace. But how, as a parent, can you determine whether or not your child’s brace fits properly? Registered Orthotic Assistant and Certified Fitter of Orthotics, Loretta Sheldon, answers this question in a  new article on

In the article, Sheldon provides a number of tips and things to look for when evaluating the fit of your child’s brace, including:

  • The space between the heel and the heel cup
  • Toe length and extra room for growth
  • Brace height and width

Sheldon also discusses brace habituation (adjusting to wear) and working with your clinician. If an AFO has been recommended for your child, this article will prove a helpful resource.


6 Botox Warning Issued for Treating CP Symptoms in Children

Food and Drug Administration officials are warning about potentially fatal side effects associated with the use of Botox for treating muscle spasticity, particularly in children with this cerebral palsy symptom. Children with spastic cerebral palsy are sometimes treated with Botox, though the drug is not approved in the U.S. for this use.

The FDA said in a statement that some children given Botox for muscle spasticity have experienced symptoms of botulism. In some cases the symptoms have led to hospitalization and even death, according to the FDA.

Botulism symptoms may occur when the toxin spreads from the site of injection and include:

  • Loss of muscle strength
  • Difficulty speaking or hoarseness
  • Vision problems
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing
  • Loss of bladder control

The agency is now requiring a bold black box warning on the labels of Botox and related botulinum toxin products. Parents of children with cerebral palsy who have questions or concerns about the risks associated with Botox should discuss this new warning with their physicians.


13 Botox: Cerebral Palsy Treatment for Hip Dislocation?

Botox is sometimes used to reduce muscle spasticity, a rather common cerebral palsy symptom. But research suggests that it may also help reduce the risk of hip dislocation, which is a problem in some children with cerebral palsy.

Traditionally braces have been used to prevent hip dislocation, but one study compared the use of braces to the use of Botox injections in 16 patients between 9 months and 4 years of age. According to the researchers, some of the patients benefitted from the Botox injections. However, the authors add that more extensive studies need to be done.

If your child has cerebral palsy, you may wish to talk to your doctor about the risk of hip dislocation. Each child is unique, so the treatment options for your child will depend on his or her particular circumstances.  


3 Study Shows Braces Help Reduce Symptoms of Diplegic Cerebral Palsy

The use of orthotic devices such as braces have been shown to improve cerebral palsy symptoms in children with diplegia, but little evidence shows whether certain braces are better than others. That’s why researchers decided to develop a study comparing the effectiveness of two different types of braces: hinged vs. dynamic-ankle foot orthoses.

Study Results
The study, which is published in the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, involved 15 children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy and specifically sought to determine whether one type of brace was more effective at improving gait and motor function than the other.

The results showed that both types of braces led to significant improvements in gait and there was little difference between the two in this regard. However, neither of the braces seemed to have a significant impact on motor functioning.

A Brief Word on Orthotics
Orthotics are intended to support weak muscles and reduce the risk of joint deformity, and orthotics vary according to the area in need of support. If you have questions about whether an orthotic device is right for your child, contact your primary care physician and ask for a referral to a pediatric orthopedic specialist.

See Also: Cerebral Palsy Symptoms

4 Managing CP Symptoms with Holistic Therapies

Many families are familiar with the traditional treatments used to manage cerebral palsy symptoms, such as surgery, medication and physical therapy. However, some families are turning to holistic therapies to help alleviate the symptoms their child experiences.

While it is important to remember that each child is unique and will respond differently to different therapies, some holistic alternatives parents may wish to consider include:

  • Acupuncture – This is a non-painful form of ancient Chinese medicine that involves the insertion of extremely fine needles at various points on the body to relieve pain. Studies involving acupuncture and cerebral palsy have shown that some children who received this therapy experienced a marked improvement with regard to their individual symptoms.
  • Reflexology and massage therapy – Massage has a beneficial effect on the body for people with a wide range of conditions, including cerebral palsy.
  • Biofeedback – Electromyograph (EMG) is an increasingly common form of biofeedback in which electrodes are used to measure muscle tension and relax tense muscles. It is sometimes used to alleviate the symptom of muscle spasticity in individuals with cerebral palsy.
  • Nutritional awareness – Processed foods that are high in preservatives or additives may worsen your child’s cerebral palsy symptoms. Consulting a nutritionist may help you find foods that will not only lessen such symptoms, but also provide your child with other health benefits.

Other alternative therapies that may help to ease your child’s cerebral palsy symptoms include:  yoga, which can help with movement; sensory integration, which is used to stimulate the senses and help children to interact better with their environment; and listening/music programs, which have been effective in improving auditory processing and communication skills.

Of course, alternative therapies such as these are not necessarily intended to replace a child’s traditional medical care. However, many families are beginning to take a more integrated approach to treatment, incorporating both traditional and alternative therapies.

See also: What is Cerebral Palsy

                Cerebral Palsy Symptoms

3 DOD Clinic Provides Comprehensive Cerebral Palsy Treatment

Posted by Cerebral Palsy Lawyer, David Austin

The San Antonio Military Medical Complex (SAMMC) is the only Department of Defense facility to provide comprehensive cerebral palsy treatment to children and adults with the condition. In fact, the facility’s spasticity clinic has been named a center of excellence for the treatment of cerebral palsy.

Medical specialists at the facility’s Adult and Pediatric Spasticity Clinic take a multidisciplinary approach to treatment to help reduce cerebral palsy symptoms. According to Major and pediatric neurologist Dr. Brian Faux, each patient is treated by a team of specialists that includes “pediatricians, orthopedic surgeons, physical, occupational and speech therapists, social workers, neurologists, neurosurgeons, educators and nutritionists.”

One particular treatment available at the clinic is medical pump implantation; the pump delivers a continuous dose of medication to ease some of the symptoms associated with cerebral palsy. Since 2003, the clinic has implanted 15 medical pumps into children.

"I would like to see children with cerebral palsy being implanted at a much younger age, before they start losing muscle and are wheelchair bound. It’s important that we get the word out that we offer this treatment," Dr. Faux said.

SAMMC was formerly known as Wilford Hall Medical Center and the website can be accessed here.


Study Tests HBOT for Easing Cerebral Palsy Symptoms

A federally funded study will test whether a controversial therapy known as HBOT (hyperbaric oxygen therapy) can help to ease symptoms of cerebral palsy. Forty-eight children with cerebral palsy will participate in study and receive the therapy for free at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.


Patients undergoing HBOT receive high concentrations of oxygen in a pressurized chamber. It’s believed that the high dose of oxygen can help revitalize damaged brain cells, which are at the root of cerebral palsy.


The therapy is already approved for use in individuals suffering from decompression sickness (the “bends”), carbon monoxide poisoning and radiation injuries. However, the use of HBOT in the treatment of neurological disorders like cerebral palsy is controversial.


Research has yet to prove the effectiveness of HBOT for easing the symptoms of cerebral palsy in kids, and this study may shed some light on whether it’s a therapy worth pursuing for this purpose.

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