Current Developments in Cerebral Palsy: 2013

Cerebral Palsy is a term used to describe multiple types of non-progressive motor conditions that result in physical impairment.  Typically, cerebral is something a person is born with or develops very shortly after their birth.

Currently there is no cure, but progress is being made in a variety of treatments.  We thought we would take a moment to highlight a few of the developments being made currently.

The Healing Power of Botox

When you hear Botox, it’s common to think of anti-age treatments where people have it injected into their face.  Truth is, it has a variety of applications.

Interestingly enough, Botox actually stands for “Botulinum toxin”, which means, yes, it is a toxic substance that could kill a person.  But for someone with the right type of cerebral palsy, it can actually improve their life if harnessed correctly.

Two years ago, Adam Leon was a 16 year old boy who couldn’t raise his right arm.  Sometime around his birth, his cerebral palsy caused a stroke that left his right arm and wrist very stiff.  Since the beginning of 2012, they began treating the damaged nerves with Botox.  Using an electromyography, they can hear which nerves are malfunctioning.  Once they’ve targeted them, they inject them with Botox.

The toxins cause the nerves to relax, allowing for improved movement.  These injections, along with physical therapy, have given Adam significantly more movement and strength in his right arm.  He is now able to open doors, lift objects, and finds his balance as a whole to be much better.

Though the use of Botox is bringing great results, it has its limitations.  For starters, it can’t be used on children.  Others around the country, however, are finding different ways to treat cerebral palsy.

Out with The Bad

While Botox acts as a relaxant and numbing agent to the affected nerves, the effect is currently temporary.  Rather than work around the malfunctioning nerves, some doctors are simply taking them out of the equation.

Dr. Dean Hertzier is a surgeon in Hollywood who is doing just that.  In a recent case, a girl who has trouble walking was brought to him.  Because of the cerebral palsy she suffered from during her birth, the nerves in her spine that control her legs never formed properly.  By making an incision into the spine, Hertzier can expose the nerves and identify which ones are working correctly.

He then successfully removed the affected nerves, he can stop leg spasms and muscle confusion, thus enabling her to walk.  This surgery is now being followed by extensive physical therapy.  Already the girl is walking with much greater ease and her posture is straighter.

Though this method is not applicable to everyone with cerebral palsy and is not a true “cure” per se, it can greatly improve the quality of mobility for certain people.

Rollx Vans and Cerebral Palsy

In order to raise awareness and funding for cerebral palsy treatment such as this, Rollx Vans partners with organizations like UCP (United Cerebral Palsy).

When we sell new wheelchair vans, we donate $500 of the profits directly to an organization such as UCP.  Together, we can provide a better life for everybody in the future.

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