New line of treatment found for cerebral palsy

April 7th, 2008 - 12:58 pm ICT by admin  

Sydney, April 7 (IANS) There is hope for children who suffer brain damage due to oxygen deprivation during birth, according to a new study. Oxygen deprivation afflicts up to six children per 1,000 in developed countries and can cause conditions such as cerebral palsy. Existing treatments to prevent nerve cell damage are not too successful.

The study, by University of Otago researchers, outlines a new approach that combines two therapies. It could help heal damaged nerve cells and restore motor function.

The findings of the study have been published in the latest edition of the journal Brain Pathology.

Led by scientist Dorothy Oorschot, the study says the two existing treatments results in only modest improvement in patients.

But when used together, it was found that the nerve cells were protected and fine motor skills preserved after moderate brain injury from oxygen deprivation. The researchers are now focusing on refining the combination of the two treatments to provide the most effective results.

“We are hopeful that this combined treatment might one day be able to rescue completely damaged nerve cells and restore motor function to normal levels in affected babies,” Oorschot said.

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