Cerebral palsy is a term that refers to a group of permanent disorders which affect movement. The condition typically develops in a person’s youth, usually as a cause of structural damage to the brain. While the condition typically manifests when a person is young, the condition can present new challenges to them as they enter adulthood.
Dr. Steenblock and his team at Personalized Regenerative Medicine provide treatment and care for adults with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition, and those affected by it should have treatment options available to them no matter their age.
If you’re interested in our services for adults with cerebral palsy, we encourage you to contact us in San Clemente to set up a consultation. Our services have helped many patients in the past and we hope that they can do the same for you.
How Does Cerebral Palsy Develop?
Cerebral palsy is a condition that exists as an effect of abnormal development and/or damage to the fetal or infantile brain. In any case, it’s a condition with an early occurrence, and the symptoms are typically visible within the first six to nine months of person’s life. There currently is no single, identifiable cause for the occurrence of cerebral palsy in an individual, but there are a few catalysts that have been suggested by clinical studies. Some of the possible causes of cerebral palsy include: fetal exposure to radiation, viral infection, hypoxia, improper removal from the womb, and physical trauma during labor.
What Parts of The Developing Brain Are Affected?
Those affected with cerebral palsy often have structural damage to the brain. More often than not, the white matter of the brain is the affected area. White matter refers to the areas of the central nervous system composed of myelinated axons. Axons are protrusions from neurons—brain cells—that allow for messaging between different areas of the brain. The axons being myelinated means that they are covered with a fatty, lipid layer that allows for better conduction of electricity.
When white matter is damaged, this leads to poor signaling between the different areas of the brain. As a result, people with damaged white matter typically have trouble with learning and movement, which are two key symptoms of cerebral palsy.
What Symptoms Are Commonly Seen In Those With Cerebral Palsy?
There are many symptoms that are indicative of cerebral palsy, and they usually depend on the type of cerebral palsy that a person is affected with. The two most common types of cerebral palsy are spastic and non-spastic. Spastic cerebral palsy involves uncontrollable movement while patients with non-spastic cerebral palsy typically experience muscle rigidity and the inability to move. However, even though these categorizations exist, patients with cerebral palsy typically experience a mixture of spastic and non-spastic symptoms.
Common symptoms of cerebral palsy include:
- Poor Balance
- Impaired Reflexes
- Difficulty With Eating
- Delayed Language Development
- Decreased Muscle Tone
- Increased Muscle Tone
- Awkward Gait
- Joint Inflammation
- Impaired Hearing and/or Vision
How Does Cerebral Palsy Affect Adults?
Cerebral palsy is typically a non-progressive condition, meaning that in most cases, the condition does not grow worse as a person ages. However, there are new challenges that can present themselves to patients of cerebral palsy as they age. As these individuals grow up and become more self-reliant, they might have to take care of symptoms that their previous caregivers used to help them with.
In addition to the demands of adulthood, cerebral palsy patients can develop symptoms of enhanced aging, as a cause of muscular atrophy and other symptoms.
The brain also becomes weaker for all individuals as we age, and those with cerebral palsy may experience more difficulty with their symptoms not as a cause of the condition worsening, but as an effect of the physiologic changes that come with age.
How Can Personalized Regenerative Medicine Help Adults With Cerebral Palsy?
At Personalized Regenerative Medicine, the two types of therapy that we offer are physical therapy and stem cell therapy.
Physical therapy for cerebral palsy is non-invasive, non-surgical, and focuses on rehabilitating the individual through exercise and controlled movement. The level of physical therapy will depend on the severity of the patient’s cerebral palsy. For those with mild cerebral palsy, who experience symptoms that only marginally impair their movement, the therapy might involve more physically demanding tasks; we might have them climb a set of stairs or walk on a treadmill to help them increase their endurance. Patients with a more severe condition may be rehabilitated using less demanding exercises. The therapy for them may be as simple as helping them to get into their wheelchair by themselves.
Assistive tools may be utilized to help the patient with these exercises. These tools may include crutches, or even training weights to help with some of the endurance exercises. In any case, we will work with the patient to provide the best care that we can.
Stem Cell Treatments For Cerebral Palsy
A stem cell is an undifferentiated cell that has the ability to specialize and replicate the functions of other cells when bodily tissue is damaged. Stem cell treatments involve taking stem cells from a part of the body and then placing them in damaged areas. We typically draw stem cells from bone marrow, as the stem cells present in that area have a great capacity to replicate the functions of other cells, and to do so indefinitely. After the treatment, the patient can experience increased mobility in areas that were previously rigid and immovable.
Qualifications For Our Treatments
To verify your candidacy for either of these treatments, a consultation with one of our practitioners will be needed. This consultation can be set up at your leisure and will likely take under an hour. During this consultation, you’ll discuss your current state of health, medical history, and goals for the treatment. The practitioner will review all of these things to make sure that you are suitable for the treatment.
If you have been affected by cerebral palsy, we would love if you would contact us in San Clemente. We’d love to get the chance to help you with your condition.