Updated: November 21, 2017
People who either have cerebral palsy, or have studied it, realise it is a lifelong condition. This does not mean that some of the symptoms cannot be managed, perhaps even without prescription drugs that feature potentially dangerous side effects. In fact, recent studies have shown cerebral palsy has an inflammatory component, which may indicate that prescription drugs are not the only, or even the best options to treat symptoms. In addition, the findings of various studies offer hope that cerebral palsy, and other conditions, can be managed or prevented by reducing or eliminating inflammation.
What Do Studies Suggest?
It seems researchers have only recently paid close attention to the apparent link between cerebral palsy and inflammation. Among the first reputable sources to discuss the connection was Annals of Neurology, which featured the details of a study performed in 1998. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke later posted a copy of the press release, which claimed that researchers examined blood samples taken from newborn babies in order to check the cytokine levels.
An unusually high level of cytokines can indicate inflammation. For this reason, the discovery of the study’s lead author, Karin B. Nelson, MD and four other doctors was telling: All the babies in the study who developed cerebral palsy had many more cytokines in their blood than the babies who did not develop the condition. This clearly suggested an apparent link between inflammation and cerebral palsy, and this was just the beginning of such discoveries.
According to Disability Scoop, another study has shown that the use of anti-inflammatory drugs may even prevent cerebral palsy, at least when this is done as soon as the baby is born. The study was performed in 2012, using newborn rabbits diagnosed with the condition. Once the inflammation was treated with medication, they could move much more freely than before. More specifically, ScienceDaily reported that it only took five days for the rabbits to begin walking and hopping ‘normally’, ostensibly due to the reduction in the inflammation of the brain.
Of course, further testing is necessary to come to any major conclusions. Nevertheless, studies like these have at least shown some connection between cerebral palsy and inflammation. Whether or not we get any solid answers soon, such research may prompt doctors to at least consider using anti-inflammatory agents more often to manage certain symptoms of cerebral palsy. Currently, many doctors appear to ignore this method of treatment.
How Can We Reduce Inflammation?
Further exploring the link between inflammation and cerebral palsy may allow doctors to quickly treat babies who appear to be at risk of developing the condition, at which point they can use antibiotics to get rid of infection before lasting damage is done. This could reduce the inflammatory response, which may help prevent or decrease brain damage. Clearly, this could have a significant impact on babies facing this condition.
We must not rely upon ensuring everyone gets a steady stream of anti-inflammatory drugs, since they are not always safe long-term. For this reason, options that a more natural should be studied, including Serrapeptase and Curcumin. Serrapeptase is an enzyme that assists the body in breaking down dead tissue and proteins, resulting from inflammation. Many people have used it to treat a variety of conditions, from arthritis and fibromyalgia to inflammatory bowel disease and swelling anywhere in the body. This is just one of many natural anti-inflammatory options available as an alternative to prescription medication that tends to have side effects.
Of course, there is more than one underlying cause of cerebral palsy, with inflammation as a contributory factor as well as an indicator of risk. If the ability to reduce inflammation prevents even a small portion of infants from developing the disorder, it is worth it for researchers to study such treatments. After all, anti-inflammatory agents are easy to obtain and can even be found in pills that do not have side effects. Thus, it makes sense to devote more time to the idea that cerebral palsy is indeed an inflammatory condition and therefore may be treated or even prevented by reducing inflammation.