Cerebral Palsy – Information and Treatment Options

What Is Cerebral Palsy? 

Cerebral Palsy is the single most common motor disability of childhood, affecting every 1 in 345 children (1). More common among boys that girls, Cerebral Palsy, or CP for short, is a group of conditions that affect movement and posture caused by damage to the brain (2). While this type of damage most frequently occurs before birth, it can also occur during or even shortly after birth (3). When this damage typically occurs can be dependent upon several factors, including genetics, lack of oxygen, and prevalence of certain brain chemicals. 

Is There A Cure For Celebral Palsy? 

There is currently no cure for CP, however there are treatments that can improve the quality of life for those who live with this condition (4). Some of the most common treatments include a wide range of therapies, from physical and occupational to speech and language, drug prescriptions, and sometimes even surgery. The treatments vary so much primarily because, while the symptoms are typically the same across the board, they can present in very different ways from person to person. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Cerebral Palsy? 

These symptoms usually appear during infancy or preschool years, can range in intensity from mild to serious, and can include: 

  • Stiff muscles, 
  • Exaggerated reflexes, 
  • Trouble walking or moving, 
  • Trouble with fine motor skills, 
  • Trouble eating or chewing, and 
  • Learning or intellectual disabilities. 

What Are The Treatment Options For Cerebral Palsy? 

In an effort to learn more about CP and how to better treat it, there have been a range of studies being done by research sponsored by NINDS (The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke), looking into common causes and potential out of the box treatments such as stem cell therapy and electrical stimulation. For example, a study done in 2008 looked into the potential use of electrical stimulation for improving daily movement. Specifically, it was noted that electrical stimulation, while not a cure, can be used to effectively improve gait kinematics in select children with cerebral palsy (5).

Another study, done in 2019, further implied that electrical stimulation could be used as an assistive device to improve sitting and standing dimensions in children with spastic Cerebral Palsy (6). Further investigation in the primary literature of electrical stimulation usage in CP indicated that while additional research needed to be done, there was evidence of reasons to be “optimistic that ES holds promise for therapeutic value” (7).  

Using Electrical Stimulation For Treating Cerebral Palsy 

One company, ARPwave LLC, has shown a long history of success in working with electrical stimulation in regards to pain and recovery. ARPwave works to stimulate the nerves in a way that encourages the body to work correctly and uses similar technology to those used in studies done previously. This type of electrostimulation device has been cleared by the FDA for use in reduction of muscle spasms typically associated with diseases such as CP. 

Additionally, electrostimulation has been shown, according to the FDA to help reduce muscle degeneration and improve upon range of motion. When applied to symptoms associated with CP, this could allow stiffening muscles to maintain or expand their range of motion, keep unused or rarely used muscles from atrophying further, and potentially allow the individual with CP to work on strengthening the muscles that cause them issues with eating, walking, and moving around. As a whole, applied through NeuroTherapy, these benefits would not only be a tool used to correct muscular compensation patterns caused by surgery or degeneration, but also improve the overall quality of life for those living with Cerebral Palsy. 

For additional information on how ARPwave could potentially be used in cases of CP and how to get started, book a call today. 

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