March is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month
March is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. Through awareness and education, National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month is dedicated to growing research and creating positive long-term outcomes for those living with Cerebral Palsy. To help drive awareness, advocates are wearing green on March 25th.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a group of neurological disorders that affects muscle movement and coordination. It’s caused when part of the brain responsible for muscle control and coordination is underdeveloped or suffers damage before, during or shortly after birth. CP is diagnosed early on in life through diagnostic testing and brain imaging when a child begins missing important developmental milestones.
Children diagnosed with CP have trouble with walking and motor skills. Severity of symptoms and types of CP vary from person to person. They might also suffer from other conditions such as cognitive disability, epilepsy, and vision problems.
Can Cerebral Palsy be Treated?
Although there is no current cure for CP, there are treatment options that might help improve symptoms. Medications and different types of therapy can help people with CP manage pain and secondary symptoms, and possibly improve flexibility, mobility, and muscle definition.
Through research and clinical trials, we are seeing new possible treatment options that may help improve quality of life for people with Cerebral Palsy, including the use of umbilical cord blood.
How Umbilical Cord Blood is Helping Children with Cerebral Palsy
Umbilical cord blood, or cord blood, is the blood that remains in a baby’s umbilical cord after birth. The blood is a rich source of stem cells that can play a valuable role in medical treatments and therapies.
Cord blood contains special cells with unique properties that can help heal and repair the body. In CP trials, cord blood is being used as regenerative medicine, which is the science of using living cells to help stimulate the body’s own repair mechanisms to regenerate and repair cells damaged by disease, genetics, injury or aging.
Results from a Phase II Cord Blood & Cerebral Palsy Clinical Trial completed at Duke University found that when kids received an adequate dose of their own cord blood, both brain connectivity and motor function improved. The study was made up of 63 children who had access to their own banked cord blood. Many ViaCord families participated in this exciting research, including the Rooney family, who were featured in the news. Watch their story below.
Research Continues On
Additional clinical trials are now underway to determine the safety of using a sibling’s cord blood to help treat Cerebral Palsy. This innovative research is an exciting and encouraging development for families and a significant milestone in the evolution of cord blood use.
Banking cord blood does not guarantee that treatment will work, and only a doctor can determine when it can be used. PerkinElmer does not endorse or make recommendations with respect to research, medication, or treatments. All information presented is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.
“Cerebral Palsy.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 17 Aug. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cerebral-palsy/symptoms-causes/syc-20353999.
“Cerebral Palsy: Symptoms, Treatments, and Causes of Cerebral Palsy.” Cerebral Palsy Group, cerebralpalsygroup.com/cerebral-palsy/.
For more details and references, visit viacord.com/references