Living with Cerebral Palsy is difficult, it can mean losing the ability to walk forever and relying on wheelchairs, walkers, canes, and assistive equipment.
Families who discover that a family member has Cerebral Palsy need to prepare themselves for long-term emotional, physical, social, and financial difficulties.
Cerebral Palsy often starts in childhood. It attacks the movement of the body leading to mobility limitation. The assistance of an orthopedic provider and physical therapist is needed to improve the chances of moving and gaining bodily strength. In severe cases, daily medication and surgery are required.
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
- Problem with Speech
- Inability to eat or drink on your own
- Pain and movement issues while sleeping
- Difficulty in taking a bath, getting dressed, and doing daily activities
- Learning difficulties coupled with cognitive disabilities
- Inability to move and maintain balance and posture
- Weakness problems in the muscles
- Abnormal brain development and damages
- Vision and hearing problems
Cerebral Palsy has many faces. It could mean suffering from muscle weakness, fatigue, and discovering numerous problems with brain development like seizures accompanied by vision and hearing problems. Spine problems like scoliosis and joint problems can also occur.
Cure for Cerebral Palsy
As soon as Cerebral Palsy is diagnosed, a child begins their therapy to help enhance their movement. Including training in learning, speech, hearing as well as social and emotional development.
In severe cases, they use surgery to cure dislocated hips caused by Scoliosis or put leg braces to help with walking. The food and drinks are also monitored. Food rich in calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus is recommended by dieticians to give the body a fighting chance.
Stem Cells and Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy could be because of premature birth, infection in the uterus, lack of nutrition support and oxygen during pregnancy and birth, or genetic problems.
An attack in the brain neurons causes the Oligodendrocytes to die, this is the white matter that connects the brain to different regions. The corticospinal tract that connects the motor area of the brain also gets damaged.
For more than a decade now, researchers and scientists are looking into the potential healing properties of Stem Cell Transplantation.
It focuses on the possibility of regenerating the destroyed areas in the brain by replacing the damaged and non-functional cells in the brains of Cerebral Palsy patients.
It was discovered that stem cells can be induced to become specialized cell types and transplanted back into the body.
Stem cells could be modified to provide support to damaged brain cells. It lessens brain scarring and increases the speed of recovery.
They have discovered the Neural precursor cells (NPCs) a type of stem cells that are found in the central nervous system. These stem cells can be taken from a patient or a donor, grown into a culture dish, and transplanted back into the patient. When properly integrated it can assist the healing of the injured brain and replace dysfunctional cells.
However, these neural precursor cells are limited. And while scientists can grow them into a culture dish, the method of procuring them from the brain and the spinal cord is complex.
The use of these stem cells in laboratory experiments are promising. Stem cell transplantation offers modest functional movements and positive anatomical changes in the brains of Cerebral Palsy patients.
There are just a few hurdles that scientists and researchers must overcome before it can be declared as a potent cure.
Doctors are looking for ways to improve cell survival in the brain after stem cell transplantation. They need to find ways to reduce the risk of tumor formation. Once humans learn how to integrate stem cells into the neuronal pathways- the healing and transformation possibility is massive.
Clinical Trials on A Global Scale
Clinics and hospitals all over the world are excited about stem cells and their healing effect on various diseases. Clinical trials are conducted round the clock to check the efficacy of stem cells in treating Cerebral Palsy.
There is a steady rise in Stem Cell Advocates- key personalities, authors, celebrities, and people from all walks of life are waking up to the power and transformation that stem cells offer.
Stem Cell therapy has led to incremental improvements in the lives of many like Lourdes Duque Baron and Michael York who are both stem cell advocates.
Lourdes Duque Baron during a photoshoot taken July 26, 2019 — she was 72. Receivers of billions of stem cells themselves, they attest to the truth and efficacy of this rejuvenating and immensely powerful treatment. Michael York a highly respected actor who is known for his work in Cabaret, Logan’s Run, and Austin Power decided to become an advocate for stem cells after receiving treatment for his Amyloidosis and Multiple Myeloma. While 73 year old Lourdes Duque Baron experienced the healing of her Osteoporosis by way of stem cell therapy.
The greatest challenge that the medical community is facing right now is how to make it widely accessible as a form of treatment. Laboratories need to find a way to culture stem cells more efficiently and to manufacture cells on a large scale.
The future of stem cells is bright, as more and more people are beginning to believe and adapt to alternative treatments.