Cerebral palsy (CP) is an abnormality of motor function (as opposed to mental function) and postural tone that is acquired at an early age, even before birth. This abnormality in the motor system is the result of brain lesions that are nonprogressive. The motor system of the body provides the ability to move and control movements. The abnormality in these systems means that it affects the child’s ability to perform activities of daily activities and affects their ability to move and walk.
Signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy usually show in the first year of life. The predominant symptoms and signs of cerebral palsy are related to motor difficulties, which are the consequence of the brain damage. The extension and severity of the brain lesion is the leading factor in the magnitude of the motor deficit. Many of the symptoms observed in these children are related to the primary problem of impaired motor functions. Some of the symptoms a child may display would include developmental motor delay, gait disorders, poor fine and gross motor coordination, swallowing disorders, or speech delay are all the result of the basic motor disorder.
Cerebral palsy affects approximately one to three out of every thousand children born. However, it is much higher in infants born with very low weight and in premature infants.
Most of the causes of cerebral palsy do not have specific, curative treatments. However, children with cerebral palsy present many medical problems that can be treated or prevented. The initial stage of treatment involves an interdisciplinary team, consisting of a pediatrician, preferably one with experience in neurodevelopment disorders, a neurologist (or other neurological practitioner), a mental health practitioner, an orthopedic surgeon, a physical therapist, a speech therapist, and an occupational therapist. Each member of the team has an important and independent contribution to make in the care of the affected child.
Although, these treatment option help improve the quality of life for these patients, they do not solve the problem to its core. Modern medicine and research have together thrown light on the potential use of stem cells for curbing the disastrous effects seen in cerebral palsy.
Alisha Rahman’s Story
Here is a case report of a young child, Alisha Rahman with cerebral palsy who has undergone stem cell therapy and has shown great improvements post therapy.
Alisha Rahman is a known case of dystonic cerebral palsy with no positive history of cerebral palsy in the family. When she was a mere six months old, her parents noticed that she did not display the normal milestones of an infant her age. It distressed her parents and they decided to visit her pediatric. They were advised to undergo a few diagnostic investigations like MRI. On the basis of those tests, baby Alisha was diagnosed with Cerebral palsy.
Without further ado, her parents began the rounds from doctors to therapists and back again. She started with basic physiotherapy exercises to strengthen muscles and to regain her functions. But her parents were not satisfied with the results. They started looking out for alternate treatment options and it was then that they came across Dr Alok Sharma and Dr Nandini Gokulchandran and the concept of regenerative medicine for cerebral palsy.
Alisha Rahman first approached NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute in February 2012. On examination, it was seen that she exhibited delayed milestones. Besides that she displayed poor head and oromotor control, middline activities and had difficulty in balance. Baby Aabas underwent stem cell therapy in July 2012. Along with stem cell therapy she was put on an extensive rehabilitation programme. The rehabilitation program was customized in a manner such that it benefits her to the maximum limit. The aim of rehabilitation program was to help normalization of her muscle tone and to help her develop major milestones. Post stem cell therapy, Alisha has showed major improvements in balance and neck holding. Her grip and hand movements show improvements as compared to before and rigidity in her legs has also reduced.
“Dealing with a child having cerebral palsy is a full time job. When my daughter was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, it was definitely a shock to my family. We rushed around major hospitals and met up with several doctors to discuss the future of my child. All gave me one response saying that nothing can be done and that regular physiotherapy can be the only option. But I did not give up and my search gave me my answer in stem cell therapy. In spite of a reluctant response from my dear ones, my husband and I decided to go for it and are extremely pleased with our decision. Stem cell therapy and the staff of NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute have turned my hope into belief!” says Mrs. Rahman, mother of Aabas Rahman.
Noticing the improvements in their child, Alisha has undergone stem cell therapy twice at NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute.
Detailed Facts About Improvements After Stem Cell Therapy
Clinical improvements seen in Alisha after first stem cell therapy
- Tongue protrusion is more spontaneous.
- Drooling reduced.
- Sucking and chewing initiated.
- Vocalizations are more spontaneous.
Clinical improvements seen in Aabas after second stem cell therapy
- She can do shuffling and move around.
- Oromotor skills have improved. She drinks water, milk with less spillage. Can chew biscuit, khichdi.
- Tries to communicate, sometimes speaks few words but no clear words.
- Neck holding has improved.
- She can now roll back from prone to supine.
- Sitting static balance has improved. Can maintain sitting in rickshaw.
- Slight improvement in sitting dynamic balance.
- Her kicking of legs has increased.
- Grip present but cannot release.
- Her lower limb dystonia has completely reduced and upper limb is less than before.
- Tries to do transitional movements.
- Tries to reach to objects – toys.
- She laughs aloud and plays with other children and parents.
- She has become more attentive now.
- Her understanding has improved (she now gets angry if the father takes or picks up any other child, if told to remove nanu’s specs she removes and if the mother shouts at her she cries. She also understands the commands. She now does stand up on command from sitting and understands danger.
- When she passes urine, she cries which she was not doing earlier.
- Her focusing on objects has improved now.
- Her GMFM score has improved from 8.4 – 11.4
What does Mrs. Rahman’s mother to Alisha Rahman have to say
“Accepting our problems is one thing, but losing hope over them is not. Even if there is a 5% or 10% chance of things looking brighter, we should grab them and move on in life.” says Mrs. Rahman, mother of Alisha Rahman.
Currently, Alisha is undergoing physiotherapy at our centre. Her parents continue to work with as rigorously as before and hope their daughter will show even further improvements.