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new treatments of cerebral palsy

One of the new treatments for cerebral palsy is selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR). SDR is the only surgical procedure that can provide permanent reduction of spasticity in cerebral palsy. During the operation, the neurosurgeon divides each of the dorsal roots in the spine into 3-5 rootlets and stimulates each root electronically. By examining the electrical responses from muscles in the lower extremities, they can identify the rootlets that cause spasticity. The abnormal rootlets are cut, leaving the normal rootlets in tact. This reduces messages to the muscles, resulting in better balance of activities of nerve cells in the spinal cord, and reducing spasticity.

The advantages of SDR over other new treatments of cerebral palsy can be significant. There is a reduced risk of spinal deformities in the later years of life, and reduced hip flexor spasticity by sectioning the first lumbar dorsal root. It also boasts less intense back pain than other surgical procedures and earlier resumption of vigorous physical therapy.

Of all the new treatments for cerebral palsy, SDR has undergone more intense scientific scrutiny than any other surgical treatment. SDR is a long and complicated neurosurgical procedure and complications such as paralysis of the legs and bladder, impotence, and sensory loss may occur.

Another one of the new treatments for cerebral palsy is hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBO). HBO therapy is a medical treatment that uses the administration of 100% oxygen at controlled pressure for a time frame between 60 to 90 minutes. Although usually used to treat burns and difficult healing wounds, it is now realized as a new treatment for cerebral palsy. HBO therapy facilitates healing in these conditions by increasing the amount of oxygen in the blood by up to 2000%, depending on the treatment depth. This in turn drastically increases the amount of oxygen at the cellular level.

With brain trauma, some brain cells become dormant due to lack of oxygen, usually caused by reduced blood flow related to swelling. HBO therapy has been shown to reduce swelling of brain tissue by constricting blood vessels. By the increase of the amount of oxygen at the cellular level, it is believed that dormant, oxygen starved brain cells are revived.


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