Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders usually characterized by impaired motor function. The exact cause of the disease is usually difficult to identify but can be due to trauma or injury to the brain before, during, or shortly after birth. Cerebral palsy is a lifelong disease without a cure, but it is non-progressive, meaning that the symptoms do not get worse over time. There are several options for therapy and treatments for the cerebral palsy patient. Treatments often depends on the particular manifestation of a person’s cerebral palsy and can include various naturopathic treatments including hyperbaric oxygen (HBOT), physical therapy, medication, adaptive equipment, surgeries, and other elements.
In hyperbaric chambers, the patient breathes 100% oxygen under pressure. Normal outside air usually contains about 20% oxygen. HBOT increases oxygen saturation in the blood and organs, causing a regeneration and enhancement of certain neuronal tissues, organs, and structures.
When tissue is damaged, the blood supply within the tissue is also damaged and too little oxygen may be available for recovery to take place. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy significantly increases the delivery of oxygen to the tissues. The dose of oxygen administered is adjusted from patient to patient, depending on their condition.
In cerebral palsy patients, HBOT can reduce pressure and swelling in the brain. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can also detoxify substances and blood in the brain and the body, it and can encourage the regeneration of damaged or dead blood vessels and increase the differentiation of stem cells to regenerate the damaged brain tissues. According to the published research, HBOT has helped many people and improved their condition particularly for people that suffer physical difficulties by significantly reducing spasticity. It was shown in a study that HBOT also increases the number of circulating stem cells that are believed to play a significant role in improving the overall condition of patients with cerebral palsy. According to the study “Stem Cell Mobilization by Hyperbaric Oxygen”, 40 hours of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy increased by eight-fold the number of stem cells circulating in a patient’s body. Stem cells exist in the bone marrow and are capable of changing their nature to become part of many different organs and tissues. Stem cells, also called progenitor cells, are crucial to injury repair and have been shown to improve vasculogenesis (the creation of new blood vessels that previously did not exist) and improve healing. “This is the safest way clinically to increase stem cell circulation, far safer than any of the pharmaceutical options,” said Stephen Thom, MD, Ph.D., Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and lead author of the study.
In addition to that, K.K. Jain M.D. a researcher and neurologist, has reported that improvements from Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in motor power and spasticity were made permanent when combined with physical therapy.
At the Nardella Clinic, our highly trained naturopathic doctors have treated several cases of cerebral palsy with very good results. Please contact the clinic to learn more about hyperbaric oxygen therapy and naturopathic medicine for patients with cerebral palsy.