Working with many local families who have loved ones with cerebral palsy, our Illinois birth injury lawyers are intimately familiar with the long-term complications faced by those suffering this injury. It goes without saying that children born with cerebral palsy face a lifetime of dealing with various problem caused by their condition, including physical and developmental problems affecting virtually all facets of their life. A lifetime of day to day care is often required.
Fortunately, new medical advances are slowly changing the treatment options for these individuals. Of course, the ultimate goal is to one day get to a point where all symptoms are eliminated. While we aren’t there yet, some positive developments were recently made that might help relieve some symptoms in cerebral palsy victims.
One of the most common symptoms of cerebral palsy is “spasticity.” This refers to muscle spasms or muscle tightening that affects posture, balance, and movement. Many with various spastic conditions have trouble moving parts of the body or certain limbs. As explained by Medtronic, the underlying cause of the spasticity is the damage to the brain or spinal cord which controls voluntary movement. Signals in the body are disrupted, creating the muscle activity imbalance.
A new therapy may help relieve some spasticity symptoms. Called ITB Therapy or a Baclofen Pump, the therapy offers new hope for Illinois cerebral palsy sufferers who have spasticity problems. According to a recent WFTV story on the pump, the treatment works by placing the pump and catheter (surgically) in a way that delivers liquid “baclofen’ into the spinal cord. Baclofen is a drug derivative of gamma-aminobutyric (GABA).
In the past Baclofen (also known as Kemstro, Lioresal, Liofel, and Gablofen) was taken orally to help with spasticity. However, because the drug is delivered from inside the body with the pump directly to the spinal cord, a much smaller dosage is needed with the pump than when taken orally. Consequently, the pump is quite advantageous in providing the spasticity benefit without the side effects.
The minimization of side effects is no small feat. Drugs.com explains that some of the effects include back pack, constipation, diarrhea, drowsiness, diziness, fatigue, headache, muscle weakness, nausea, and vomiting. In children, drowsiness is the most common side-effect, but the drowsiness is severe enough on some occasions that it interferes with basic day-to-day living.
Ensure Access to Therapy Resources
Our Chicago cerebral palsy lawyers are encouraged by all of the medical advances that help minimize some of the consequences of these injuries. We understand that having access to these treatments is not always easy (or financially feasible). That is why when the underlying injury is caused by the negligence of another it is important to ensure there is proper legal accountability. In that way, the injured child is guaranteed access to new medical treatments which may become available down the road.
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