Nanomedicine study shows potential for treating cerebral palsy
Scientists have yet to discover a cure for cerebral palsy, which can result from brain damage caused by medical malpractice at birth. Research recently published in Science Translational Medicine, however, could be a step in the direction of an eventual cure for this neurological disorder.
The study treated rabbits with anti-inflammatory drugs attached to miniscule nanoparticles, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek. The drugs used in the study, called dendrimers, are typically used for treating Tylenol poisoning, but in the study they reduced brain cell inflammation that can lead to cerebral palsy.
The nanomedicine used in the study is not yet approved for testing on humans, but it shows promise for treating humans in the future, the study claims. Like human babies, but unlike most other mammals, rabbits’ brains keep developing after they are born.
Cerebral palsy is caused by an abnormality in an infant’s brain that can occur either in the womb or soon after birth. When a birth injury occurs, many scenarios for the child’s future are possible. Certain types of brain injuries can lead to cerebral palsy, which can have the following effects:
- Stiff muscles
- Uncontrollable movements
- Poor balance and coordination
According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately four out of every 1,000 infants are diagnosed with cerebral palsy, some due to a birth injury caused by a doctor’s medical malpractice. Generally, cerebral palsy does not get diagnosed until the infant is around 18 months.
Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek, “Novel Nanomedicine Therapy Treats Cerebral Palsy in Study,” Ryan Flinn, April 18, 2012.