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New Research Gives Hope to Those Seeking Cerebral Palsy Prevention

Not long ago our Chicago birth injury attorneys shared information on cerebral palsy-the term used to describe conditions affecting movement and brain problems in infants. Cerebral palsy is a severely damaging condition that forever alters the life of its young victims. It is for that reason that all efforts at preventing its development should be taken. When medical professionals fail to do everything in their power to prevent this injury, then a birth injury lawsuit may be necessary to ensure liability and accountability.

We know that filing an Illinois medical malpractice suit after these accidents are helpful ways of ensuring that a family will have the resources necessary to provide the care needed for their loved one as a consequences of the medical negligence. However, in an ideal world, the injuries would never arise in the first place. Medical researchers continue to work on studies involving these issues, hopefully discovering new methods of preventing cerebral palsy from developing at all. There has recently been some progress on that very front.

According to information published today in Medical Express, scientists have recently been able to prevent cerebral palsy-like brain damage from affecting mice. The researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine used a protein to prevent brain damage in situations that otherwise would have been particularly harmful. The professionals used a protein known as Nmnat1 to protect brain development in mice which were designed to mimic development in newborns. Certain mice were genetically engineered to produce increased level of the protective protein. Researchers then waited and compared the level of brain damage of regular mice and those with more of the Nmat1 protein. Those with enhanced protein levels had noticeably less brain damage as soon as six hours after an injury. After a week, the differences were even starker with engineered mice experiencing much less damage to brain areas which usually lead to cerebral palsy problems.

The protective protein may ultimately work to prevent cerebral palsy by substantially reducing the damage caused to a developing brain that is deprived of oxygen. One of the main causes of this and similar birth injuries is a lack of oxygen and blood flow to the brain caused by complexities during childbirth. Beyond cerebral palsy, these findings may also ultimately help medical professionals treats strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, and other conditions involved brain degeneration.

As with much new medical research, there is still a lot more to figure out. Professionals are still not exactly sure how the protein works to protect the brain. Right now those involved with this study suspect that the protein blocks the effects of a neurotransmitter-glutamate When a brain cell is damaged, it releases glutamate which can then over stimulate and harm nearby cells. If the protein blocks glutamate, then those nearby cells can be saved where otherwise they would be destroyed. Our Illinois injury attorneys know that even though there remain work to be done on these issues, this latest research is a very positive development which may ultimately prevent harm and improve lives of area resident hurt by inadequate medical care.

In Other News: Two of our companion blogs–The Illinois Medical Malpractice Blog and Illinois Injury Lawyer Blog–were nominated for inclusion as one of the Top 25 Tort Blogs of 2011. The award is part of the LexisNexis project which seeks to feature blogs that set the standard in certain practice areas and industries. The voting to narrow down the field is currently underway, and we would love to have your vote. All you have to do is add a comment at the end of the post about the Top 25 bogs.

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See Our Related Blog Posts:

Understanding Cerebral Palsy

Birth Injuries Often Have Lifelong Consequences