At this time there is no known cure for cerebral palsy (CP). Scientists don’t even completely understand how CP develops. By studying the brain and brain development, researchers can begin to understand how the damage is done and how to correct it.
Before we can learn how to correct the injured brain, we must first have a better understanding of the properly functioning brain. Today, the brain is still a medical mystery. CP is a developmental disorder, meaning that something goes wrong while the brain is developing. Most research has focused on the adult brain rather than the developing brain.
There are many groups of researchers currently studying CP. Some are working on prevention, while others are searching for a cure. In the meantime, researchers are also studying and developing better treatments and therapies for people living with CP to improve their quality of life, and ways to by severely brain injured children more time to live while a cure is being sought.
Early diagnosis and rehabilitation can greatly improve the outcome for a child with CP. Right now, our ability to detect CP is pretty poor, and often a child is not diagnosed for several years after birth and development of the condition. Better, non-invasive diagnostic techniques are being studied and developed so that children with CP can start their therapy earlier in life and live the fullest life possible.
Stem cell research looks like our best hope for a cure for CP. In the future we may be able to transplant adult stem cells into the brain of an injured child and restore its function. Currently progress is being made in this direction, but it will take more time and testing.
Organizations currently conducting CP research include:
- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
- National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
- United Cerebral Palsy Research and Education Foundation (UCP)
- March of Dimes
- Easter Seals
Cerebral palsy is often the result of a birth injury caused by medical negligence. If your child suffers from CP, contact an experienced birth injury attorney today.