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 that is 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, preferable 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 important, independent contributions 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.
Suresh Menon’s Story
Here is a case report of Master Suresh Menon, a two year old boy, who has cerebral palsy and has benefited greatly with the help of stem cell therapy combined with neurorehabilitation.
Suresh Menon is a known case of right hemiplegic cerebral palsy with no positive history of cerebral palsy in the family. At the ripe age of 9 months, his parents observed that he had not achieved the normal milestones of growth as an infant his age should and consulted a neurologist. It was then that he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Without, delay his parents started looking for treatment options that would help their son. They started undergoing physiotherapy and other rehabilitation programmes they believed would lead to a positive outcome. It was during one such consultation with a doctor that they learnt about stem cell therapy. Immediately they began home research about it and came across NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute. After the initial consultations with Dr Alok Sharma, Director NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute and Dr Nandini Gokulchandran, Deputy Director NeuroGen brain and Spine Institute, they decided to undergo stem cell therapy for Aayush.
Suresh Menon approached NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute first in late July 2014. On admission it was seen that he could not independently sit, stand or walk. Although he had fair upper and lower extremity voluntary control, his equilibrium reaction and dissociation reaction were poor. Also, in transitions he can only perform rolling, rest activities he needed assistance. He underwent stem cell therapy in August 2014 along with an extensive rehabilitation program. The goal of the rehabilitation program was to help him develop normal milestones and to inhibit any extensive surgical procedure. Under the guidance of the most experienced physiotherapists and occupational therapists, Suresh was given a series of exercises to help him strengthen his trunk muscles and to develop his equilibrium and dissociation. He also underwent speech therapy to help him with his speech. Post stem cell therapy, Suresh has improved stamina and has slowly started performing activities of daily living.
“When my son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, it was as shocking as one can imagine. First I was not able to fully comprehend what exactly cerebral palsy was and this lack of information sent me spiraling down a dark hole. I consulted a series of doctors and most suggested physiotherapy as the only option. Therefore, we stared physiotherapy sessions with Suresh but I was not very satisfied with the results. NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute were like a ray of hope I needed. I understood about stem cell therapy and felt this was the right path. On the advice of the doctors given to me, we follow the exercise regime given to Aayush even in our home and are extremely pleased with the results. I look forward his daily therapy sessions and am eagerly waiting for the day when my son will take his first independent step.” says Mrs. Menon, mother of Suresh.
Detailed Facts About Improvements After Stem Cell Therapy
- Child is more active now.
- Is involving himself more in play activity.
- Use of hemiplegic hand has increased. Hand functions have improved.
- Parents report tightness in upper extremities has reduced.
- Child is mixing more with others.
- Response in treatment has also improved.
- Child can now perform kneeling and crawling with assistance. Comes to quadruped position easily now.
- In standing child is taking few steps.
- Earlier after eating home food also child would vomit, by now he is eating well and now doesn’t vomit after it.
- Comprehension has improved.
As reported by speech therapist:
- Lip rounding initiated on stimulation.
- Tongue protrusion and touching palate also initiated slightly.
Suresh will be coming back to NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute in November 2014 for his first follow up evaluation after stem cell therapy to further detail his improvements.