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Cerebral Palsy Treatment in India, Stem Cell To Treat Cerebral Palsy in India

Stem Cell Treatment In India For Cerebral Palsy

Medsurge Healthcare Consultants provides facilitation and consultation for cerebral palsy treatment in india and Stem Cell therapy for Cerebral Palsy in India

What Is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy is often referred to as CP. Damage to the muscles or nerves does not cause cerebral palsy, but damage to the motor area or improper development in the brain does. Development of the brain starts during pregnancy and continues till the age of three. When the brain is damaged or hurt during pregnancy, during birth or after birth of the baby, then cerebral palsy may result. We all know that the brain controls all our actions and hence the movements of the muscles. If the brain is injured or not properly developed, the messages which allow the child to walk, talk, stand, and sit are not properly conveyed and the child experiences difficulty in movement. Hence, the conditions could range from very slight awkwardness in movement or muscle control to total loss of muscle control. The muscles that are affected could be confined to one side of the body or the entire body. Muscles become stiff (spasticity) and reflex movements are absolutely uncontrolled. Unfortunately, the damage is permanent. There is no cure as such for cerebral palsy but Therapy and training can help the child to lead a better life.

Cerebral Palsy Children

Children with cerebral palsy need to be constantly monitored. As they grow, their needs change and new problems surface. In adolescence, the focus is on neurological abilities, how to overcome the deformities that they have and what kind of education they require. This is determined by many factors---the environment in which they live, the kind of motor problems they have and the most important factor-the economic status of the family. As they grow older, the kind of independence that they need to be given becomes vital but suitable employment is hard to come by. This becomes even more difficult in developing countries where resources are limited and cost of upkeep high. It is very difficult to really identify how many people have been afflicted with this problem. Surveys conducted are not exhaustive and for every case of cerebral palsy that is identified there are many that are not. In fact many surveys do not include people who have mild or moderate disabilities. Some surveys indicate that 2% of the total population in India has visual, communication and loco-motor disabilities. Almost 4% of all children between the ages 0-14 exhibit developmental delay and here too the focus is only on children with learning disabilities. At least 5-10% of the general population is beset with mental disorders of varying degree. A study conducted in Southwest Germany and Western Sweden indicates that in children with cerebral palsy, almost 80% of the cases were attributed to prenatal factors, 20% due to factors occurring during birth or during the first few weeks of life. Generally speaking however, it is very difficult to identify as to when the brain damage occurred -during embryonic development, during birth or after birth. Studies indicate that 2-2.5% per thousand people suffer from cerebral palsy. This is roughly the situation even in the United States. The most common disability associated with cerebral palsy is Spasticity. This can occur equally in normal birth weight infants and in low birth weight infants. In both the cases, prenatal factors appear to be the cause. This however does not rule out neo-natal causes. As a result of all the studies conducted, research is being conducted to identify the causes of low birth and prematurity in infants. This might to some extent help reduce the number of children who suffer from cerebral palsy.

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Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy -

Indications of cerebral palsy are often noticed first by the parents. These symptoms manifest usually before the child is 18 months old, but if it is a severe case of cerebral palsy, indications are visible even before three months. Motor skills may be affected to the extent that the common "developmental milestones" like sitting, crawling, rolling over, smiling and walking are all delayed. Some children are impassive; others do not react to noises while some children experience difficulty in following the movement of objects. Irregular breathing, difficulty in sucking and feeding and limited range of motion is also evident. A few children are mentally retarded while some have superior intellect. Because there is no control of the muscles in the throat and mouth, there could be an abnormality in speech. As the motor areas are most likely to be affected, even swallowing saliva could be very difficult. When swallowing is affected, eating is a problem and the risk of inhaling liquids into the lungs is great. Behavioral, learning and reading problems are also triggered off by cerebral palsy and the situation could become really difficult. Children tend to throw more tantrums than usual and could become violent and difficult to control. While motor movements are affected there could also be a loss in muscle tone. Hypotonia refers to loose and flaccid muscles while hypertonia refers to muscles that tend to become stiff and rigid. In both conditions, the muscles cannot be used optimally.

Sometimes it is very hard to detect CP. The muscles on one side only may function so well that the defect on the other side goes unnoticed for a very long time. Walking on the toes could also be indicative of CP. Uncoordinated and uncontrolled jerky motions of limbs, clenched fists; unusual postures may also be seen. Changing from one position to another is also difficult for the child. In some cases, muscle tone is affected to such an extent that the feet are turned inwards while walking. Since the limbs cross at the knees, the gait is often referred to as "scissors gait". It is often found that the limbs are shorter on one side and non-intervention could lead to curvature of the spine itself. Difference in muscle tone on both sides could lead to unequal pressures on joints, which could later stiffen. Most children with cerebral palsy experience seizures, but these seizures are not evident because of so many other abnormalities. Defects in tooth enamel and an inability to brush their teeth properly make the children with cerebral palsy prone to dental cavities. Thus children suffering from cerebral palsy could have different symptoms. On an average it is seen that no two children experience the same symptoms. There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but with early detection of CP, it can be made more manageable.

Causes Of Cerebral Palsy -

As cerebral palsy is a consequence of damage to a developing brain, it can occur anytime during pregnancy, during labor, just before birth, during birth, in a newborn child or in early childhood. If the pregnant woman contracts rubella, herpes simplex, or other types of infection, it could affect the development of the fetal brain and cause cerebral palsy. Placental abnormalities could deprive the brain tissue of the much-needed oxygen for proper growth. Malnutrition deprives the fetus of the essential nutrients and the use of drugs, alcohol or tobacco could pose hazards to the fetal brain. Untreated high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels and blood type incompatibly are risk factors. Multiple births (twins or triplets) would mean that the weight of each infant is less and is more vulnerable. During birth: Positioning of the baby in a breech or transverse manner which makes delivery difficult, small pelvic structure of the woman or the use of anesthetics and analgesics during birth, rupture of the amniotic membranes leading to infection, compression of the umbilical cord, untreated seizures, problems with the heart are all contributory factors. Children who do not cry within the first five minutes of birth or have to be kept on a ventilator for a few weeks are also prone to CP.

In early childhood: CP may occur if the brain is damaged by meningitis, hemorrhages, head injuries resulting from accidents or falls, and asphyxia (lack of oxygen during drowning) or poisoning. These however are not the only causes of cerebral palsy. There are a number of cases where it is actually very difficult to determine the actual cause. Some children have congenital defects in the heart, kidney or spine and they are very vulnerable to Cerebral Palsy. Although we do know much about CP than we did a decade ago, it is not possible to identify a particular pattern of symptoms, which could result in CP.

Stem Cell Treatment For Cerebral Palsy -

No cure has been found to permanently treat the disabilities and manifestations of symptoms of Cerebral Palsy in children or adults. However, stem cell research and technology focusing on umbilical cord stem cell therapies in the treatment of Cerebral Palsy have been under study in recent years. The focus of such studies is to integrate transplanted stem cells into injured areas of the brain, restoring lost function and mobility.

To date, the most traditional and alternative therapies for treatment of Cerebral Palsy include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Drug therapies (Klonopin, Dilantin, anti-seizure medications, Botox, Baclofen, Tegretol)
    Surgery
  • Magnetic Therapy - (Magnetic Molecular Energizing - MME)
  • Amino Acid Therapy
  • Stem Cell Therapies (embryonic stem cell lines, umbilical cord stem cells, germ-cell-derived stem cells)

Many stem cell therapies focus on reducing spasticity in the muscles. Stem cell therapies such as those called CD 34+ and CD 133+ have been used for about a decade.  Very specialized stem cells that have shown promise in migrating to and repairing white matter brain damage, such stem cell therapies injected into those experiencing a variety of cerebral palsy symptoms have enjoyed fairly promising outcomes.

Who Benefits From Stem Cell Therapy Targeting Cerebral Palsy?
Children experiencing a lack of muscle tone, the ability to breathe properly, swallowing difficulties, immunodeficiency, and difficulty with movement, including lack of balance, difficulty walking, and using fine motor skills may benefit from stem cell therapies targeting certain areas of the brain that affect movement and function. Repeated stem cell injections may be necessary, through subcutaneous or intravenous injection.

How Much Do Cerebral Palsy Stem Cell Therapies Cost?
Whilst clinical trials for stem cell therapies are underway in the United States, the FDA has not yet approved stem cell treatments in the United States. However, the prospective costs of stem cell therapies range between $10,000 and $50,000, depending on the type of stem cell, frequency of injections, and length of therapy.

Facilities around the world, including those found in Mexico, Europe, and Southeast Asia are able to offer stem cell therapies, including umbilical cord derived stem cells, for an average of about $8,000 a vial, with prices decreasing as the number of vials needed increases.

How Do I Select a Stem Cell Provider?
Ask questions:

  • Can you offer proof that these stem cell therapy treatments work?
  • Can I speak with former patients who have undergone such therapies?
  • Who are (and what are the credentials) of the physician or surgeon administering stem cell therapies or treatments?
  • How long has the organization offered such treatments?
  • How safe is the treatment? Are there risks involved?

Many facilities worldwide offer stem cell therapy, but it's important to locate accredited and experienced physicians who deal with stem cell treatments. Doctors specializing in oncology or neurodegenerative disease processes should be trained, certified and accredited through country of origin or international accreditation and certification boards and should also belong to organizations or associations of their specialty. Check references and resources to determine whether physicians or specialists are trained, experienced and accredited with placenta stem cell therapy treatments with his or her country of origin and that facilities provide state-of the art technology and equipment and have a well maintained, trained and educated staff.

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