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Cerebral Palsy Life Expectancy, Treatments and Clinical Trials

A Child with Spastic Cerebral Palsy

A child with Spastic Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy Life Expectancy or Prognosis

People diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy are not given a prognosis based on Cerebral Palsy. The disease is not progressive nor does it get worse. Some symptoms of CP may get worse with time and aging, but Cerebral Palsy directly does not shorten a normal life span.

Current Cerebral Palsy Treatments

Treatments for Cerebral Palsy are varied. There is no cure so a lot of treatments are aimed at symptom management and reduction.[1]

  • Physiotherapy programs are designed to encourage the patient to build a strength base for improved gait and volitional movement, together with stretching programs to limit contractures. Many experts believe that life-long physiotherapy is crucial to maintain muscle tone, bone structure, and prevent dislocation of the joints.
  • Occupational therapy helps adults and children maximise their function, adapt to their limitations and live as independently as possible.
  • Speech therapy helps control the muscles of the mouth and jaw, and helps improve communication. Just as CP can affect the way a person moves their arms and legs, it can also affect the way they move their mouth, face and head. This can make it hard for the person to breathe; talk clearly; and bite, chew and swallow food. Speech therapy often starts before a child begins school and continues throughout the school years.
  • Conductive education was developed in Hungary from 1945 based on the work of András Pető. It is a unified system of rehabilitation for people with neurological disorders including cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, amongst other conditions. It is theorised to improve mobility, self-esteem, stamina and independence as well as daily living skills and social skills. The conductor is the professional who delivers CE in partnership with parents and children. Skills learned during CE should be applied to everyday life and can help to develop age-appropriate cognitive, social and emotional skills. It is available at specialized centers.
  • Biofeedback is an alternative therapy in which people with CP learn how to control their affected muscles. Some people learn ways to reduce muscle tension with this technique. Biofeedback does not help everyone with CP.
  • Patterning is a controversial form of alternative therapy for people with CP. The method is promoted by The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential (IAHP), a Philadelphia nonprofit, but has been criticized by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The IAHP’s methods have been endorsed by Linus Pauling, as well as some parents of children treated with their methods.
  • Massage therapy is designed to help relax tense muscles, strengthen muscles, and keep joints flexible. More research is needed to determine the health benefits of these therapies for people with CP.

There is no cure for Cerebral Palsy. The only way scientists can devise better treatments for Cerebral Palsy is through clinical trials. If you or someone you know suffers from Cerebral Palsy, please consider participating in a clinical trial:

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