Saturday, September 22, 2007
Life without Limits.
A long read. These facts and figures brought to you from the United Cerebal Palsy page. I urge everyone to visit it, donate and educate yourself.
Of the 50 states California ranked 5th as far as services provided
It is estimated that some 764,000 children and adults in the United States manifest one or more of the symptoms of cerebral palsy. Currently, about 8,000 babies and infants are diagnosed with the condition each year. In addition, some 1,200 - 1,500 preschool age children are recognized each year to have cerebral palsy.
Can cerebral palsy be treated?
"Management" is a better word than "treatment." Management consists of helping the child achieve maximum potential in growth and development. This should be started as early as possible with identification of the very young child who may have a developmental brain disorder. A management program can then be started promptly wherein programs, physicians, therapists, educators, nurses, social workers, and other professionals assist the family as well as the child. Certain medications, surgery, and braces may be used to improve nerve and muscle coordination and prevent or minimize dysfunction.
As individuals mature, they may require support services such as personal assistance services, continuing therapy, educational and vocational training, independent living services, counseling, transportation, recreation/leisure programs, and employment opportunities, all essential to the developing adult. People with cerebral palsy can go to school, have jobs, get married, raise families, and live in homes of their own. Most of all people with cerebral palsy need the opportunity for independence and full inclusion in our society.
Is research being done on cerebral palsy?
Yes. Active national programs of research are being vigorously pursued to prevent cerebral palsy and improve the quality of life for persons with cerebral palsy. The four organizations with major research programs are the United Cerebral Palsy Research and Educational Foundation in the private sector, and the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research in the government sector. The research questions being addressed include:
What are the factors that predispose the developing fetal brain to injury? Can these factors be eliminated or minimized?
What are the causes of injury to the developing fetal brain? Can the developing fetal and newborn brain be protected? What are the causes of developmental delays and failure to thrive?
Why are low birth weight in the full-term and the premature infant important risk factors for cerebral palsy?
Can cerebral palsy be diagnosed before birth and better diagnosed shortly after birth?
Which available treatments are most effective for specific disabilities of persons with cerebral palsy?
Based on new knowledge now available in the medical, surgical, behavioral and bioengineering sciences, what improvements can be made in the quality of life of people with cerebral palsy?
What are the effects of aging on a person with disabilities due to cerebral palsy?
Can the damaged brain be "repaired"?