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Prrvention of cerebral palsy

20.04.2012  |  03:12

A new treatment helped rabbits born with cerebral palsy to recover to an almost normal mobility, giving rise to hopes of a potential breakthrough in treating people with this currently incurable disorder, scientists said on Wednesday.

Study points to advance the treatment of cerebral palsyRabbit kittens treated with a new drug had improvement in motor functionA new treatment helped rabbits born with cerebral palsy to recover to an almost normal mobility, giving rise to hopes of a potential breakthrough in treating people with this currently incurable disorder, scientists said on Wednesday.The method, as part of the growing field of nanomedicine, worked releasing an anti-inflammatory medication directly into the active part of the brain compromised by tiny molecules known as cascade dendrimers.Rabbit kittens treated within six hours of live birth had a "dramatic improvement in motor function" on the fifth day of life, said the study's lead author, Sujatha Kannan, National Institute of Child Health and Research, Department of Perinatology and Human Development, in the United States.The study was published in the U.S. journal Science Translational Medicine.The rabbits that were born motionless because of infantile paralysis moved to "near normal levels on the fifth day," said an article accompanying the study, and was published in the same journal by pediatrician, Sidhartha Tan, of Chicago.The drug used was one commonly used to treat persons with acetaminophen poisoning, known as N-acetyl-L-cystine or NAC, and was given in a dose 10 times lower.However, it was successful because the nano-delivery method allowed it to cross the blood-brain barrier, immediately disabling inflammation in the brain.Kannan said that his team used rabbits and guinea pigs because, like humans, part of their brains develop before and after birth, while most other animals are born with their motor skills already formed."One advantage is that we can test treatments and look for improvement in motor function using this type of animal model," said the doctor.While experts say it will take years until this approach is learned totally,

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research demonstrates an important proof of the concept that some kind of early intervention can reverse the brain damage."The importance of this work is that it indicates that there is a window in time, immediately after birth, when the neuroinflammation can be identified and when treatment with a nanodevice can reverse the effects of cerebral palsy," said the co-author of the study, Roberto Romero, an obstetrician at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.Cerebral palsy affects approximately 750,000 children and adults in the United States, and its prevalence rate is about 3.3 per 1,000 births, according to Romero.The disorder can cause severe difficulties in controlling the muscles, inability to walk, move or swallow. Some patients may also experience cognitive delays and developmental abnormalities.One of the main causes of cerebral palsy is premature birth, a phenomenon on the rise, but the disease is usually not diagnosed before 2 years."The moment we make the diagnosis, there is very little we can do," Romero said, describing cerebral palsy as "an incurable disease for life." Translated from the Portuguese version by: Lisa KarpovaPravda.Ru.



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