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Another Breakthrough in Cerebral Palsy Treatment?

The Associated Press reported last week on a new study that some suggest might lead to a breakthrough in cerebral palsy treatment. As our Chicago cerebral palsy lawyers are aware, many local families keep a close eye on all medical developments that may offer hope for improved mobility and functioning in their youngsters. Cerebral palsy represents a range of conditions, and so many new treatments may affect only some of those affected by these conditions.

The study was conducted by scientists at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Perinatology Research Branch. The results appear in the latest issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine. According to the latest story, medical researchers have revealed that a new treatment in rabbits born with cerebral palsy allowed many of them to regain nearly normal mobility. The treatment at issue is an effort in the field known as “nanomedicine.” It works by delivering a drug directly into the damaged part of the injured brain. Delivering the medicine to the desired location is not easy. In this case it is done along “tree-like” molecules called dendrimers.

While complex, the process has shown to have remarkable results for the rabbits in the study. Amazingly, the effects in the rabbits were seen as early as a few days after the drug treatment. Specifically, when given the treatment less than six hours after their birth, within five days the rabbits showed “dramatic improvement in motor function” according to the report released on the study. Essentially, rabbits that were immobile due to their brain injury were essentially moving around as if they did not have an injury by the time they were five days old.

The drug itself is known as N-acetly-L-cystine (NAC) and was given to the rabbits in ten small doses. Researchers believe that it was successful in large part because it was able to cross the “blood-brain” barrier and effectively shut down brain inflammation.

It will be years before this sort of technology might be used on humans. However, experts are still hailing the research because it offers vindication of the idea that early intervention might be able to actually reverse brain damage. The idea is that there is a window in time after a birth where the location of inflammation can be identified and treated to prevent cerebral palsy from developing.

Each Illinois cerebral palsy lawyer at our firm remains excited by the possibilities for treatment that medical researchers continue to discover. The incurable problems faced by so many families who have children born with this conduction are daunting. We have helped many local families file birth injury lawsuits when the condition was caused by misconduct by medical professionals during the birth. The lawsuits often provide resources so families can ensure that their loved on receives the care they need to life as normal a life as possible. However, we appreciate that all families would obviously prefer that their child not have to deal with these challenges at all. All new research developments that might offer some relief to some cerebral palsy complications should be fully explored.

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