Potential New Treatment for Cerebral Palsy Holds Promise

Cerebral palsy is a disease that affects more than 11,000 children in the United States every year. Recently, a study evaluating a possible new treatment for the disease was conducted on rabbits, and it demonstrated potential for improvement regarding the disease. Although the treatment has not been tested on humans yet, it holds promise to some day curb the effects of cerebral palsy, leading to a more enjoyable life for those who live with the birth injury and their caretakers.

Cerebral Palsy

According to the Mayo Clinic, cerebral palsy is a disorder of movement, posture or muscle tone that results from injury or abnormal development in an immature brain. Sometimes, a lack of oxygen delivery to a baby's brain during childbirth, called hypoxia, can cause injury or damage causing cerebral palsy in the newborn.

Currently there is no cure for cerebral palsy. However, treatment such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, orthotic devices, muscle-relaxing drugs or even surgery may be able to help an individual with cerebral palsy move more freely or capably.

The New Treatment and Study

Testing a new approach to the treatment of cerebral palsy, the study delivered a drug called N-acetyl-L-cysteine into the brains of rabbits born with cerebral palsy. Rabbits were chosen as subject animals because, like humans, their brains develop both before birth and after birth, unlike other mammals that are born with fully developed motor skills, according to the New York Daily News. The results found that treatment with the drug within hours of birth drastically improved the mobility and motor function of the rabbits.

The scientists are excited about these encouraging results. The treatment shows promise to actually reverse the disease if administered within the proper time frame. It will, however, be a while before any human testing may be conducted.

When Negligence Is Suspected

Sometimes cerebral palsy results from a brain injury that is no one's fault. In other cases, though, cerebral palsy results from improper medical care during labor or delivery. For example, a doctor or nurse may fail to provide proper care and the umbilical cord may be compressed, restricting the flow of oxygen to the baby's brain and causing permanent damage.

Medical malpractice attorneys work hard to seek compensation for parents whose children suffered avoidable birth injuries because of medical negligence. Damages may be collected for past and future medical expenses relating to the injury as well for as pain and suffering. Scheduling a meeting with an experienced medical malpractice attorney is a good first step to take for your family to learn more about your legal options.