May 30, 2009

Cerebral Palsy Therapy : Nintendo Wii

by Robert D'Iorio

The Limbs Alive Project recently developed specialized games for Nintendo Wii to benefit children with cerebral palsy. The idea behind the project is to make the children perform tasks while being entertained.

Initial research indicates an increase in coordination in children that use Nintendo Wii as therapy

I think this is a great idea because it lets the children get additional physical therapy while having fun.

May 28, 2009

Brachial Plexus Palsy (BPI) or Erb’s Palsy Information

by Robert D'Iorio

Below is a great informational video made to spread awareness of brachial plexus injuries and erb’s palsy. The video was made by Cameron’s Smile Brachial Plexus Palsy Support Group.

Brachial Plexus Palsy (BPI) or Erb’s Palsy is an injury sustained to a child during delivery. Most brachial plexus injuries occur when shoulder dystocia is encountered. Shoulder dystocia is caused by the child’s shoulder / shoulders getting stuck in the birth canal.

Often to deliver the child the doctor applies excessive force the child’s head damaging the nerves in the brachial plexus. This results in partial or total paralysis of the child’s hand, elbow and/or shoulder.

For a more detailed discussion of brachial plexus injuries and erb’s palsy including treatment, causes, and risk factors please see my previous posts.

May 26, 2009

Illinois Cerebral Palsy Lawyers Obtain $12 Million Settlement in Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

by Robert D'Iorio

Last week birth injury lawyers settled a medical malpractice lawsuit against OSF Healthcare System, Inc. (St. Anthony Medical Center) for $12 million. The lawsuit was brought by the parents of a child that suffered brain damage as a result of lack of oxygen at birth.

The lawsuit alleged that the doctors and hospital staff failed to recognize signs of fetal distress, failed to recognize that the child was in a breach position, and failed to perform a C-section in a timely manner and as a result of this negligence, the child now suffers from cerebral palsy.

May 24, 2009

New Robotic Therapy for Children with Cerebral Palsy

by Robert D'Iorio

MIT researchers, lead by Hermano Igo Krebs, have developed a new robotic technology to help children with cerebral palsy. The robotic devices have been in use for several years to assist patients that have suffered a stroke, however, it was not until recently that this new technology was utilized to benefit children with cerebral palsy.

The new robotic therapy is based on the principal that a patient’s brain can establish new connections when the robotic device guides the patient’s body in the proper direction.

The pilot studies show that children with cerebral palsy benefit from the robotic therapy more than adults with the same condition because they are better able to establish new connections.

This looks like a very promising development and a new project is underway to develop an ankle device, as to date, most devices focus on the upper body.

Here is a link to MIT’s website and the full article.

May 21, 2009

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of New York to Reopen Assistive Tech Centers

by Robert D'Iorio

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of New York City announced this week the reopening of their Brooklyn SHARE & TechWorks Resource Centers for individuals with cerebral palsy.

For more information on UCP/ NYC ‘s assistive technology training, assessment and referrals please visit their website.

May 19, 2009

Folic Acid - Neural Tube Defects, Hydrocephalus & Spina Bifida

by Robert D'Iorio

The following video was made by the March of Dimes and is a follow up to my last post. It explains the importance of folic acid in preventing birth defects such as spina bifida , Hydrocephalus and neural tube defects.

May 17, 2009

NEW STUDY: Folic Acid Linked to Reduced Risk of Premature Birth

by Robert D'Iorio

Folic Acid has long been recognized as a beneficial supplement to be taken by expecting mothers to reduce the incidence of neural tube defects such as spina bifida.

Recently, a study by Radek Bukowski from the University of Texas suggests that women who took folic acid for a year prior to conception greatly reduced the risk of premature birth. In fact, the study indicates that women that took folic acid for one year prior to conception reduced their chance of delivering prematurely by 70% between 20 and 28 weeks and 50% between 28 and 32 weeks when compared to women that did not take the supplement.

It is recommended that women planning to get pregnant take at least 400 micrograms (0.4 milligrams) per day and when pregnant, increase to 600 – 800 micrograms per day.

May 15, 2009

Cerebral Palsy Study

by Robert D'Iorio

With the recent FDA warning regarding the use of Botox to treat cerebral palsy I have been getting several questions regarding the safety and effectiveness of the use of Botox to treat spasticity.

Below are links to several studies that have been conducted by Seattle Children’s Hospital sponsored by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

Botulinum Toxin for Spasticity in Children With Cerebral Palsy: A Comprehensive Evaluation

Botulinum Toxin (BOTOX) for Cerebral Palsy

Selection of Treatment Modalities in Children With Spastic Cerebral Palsy: Assessment of the Child With Spastic CP

May 13, 2009

Botox and Dysport and Cerebral Palsy

by Robert D'Iorio

Earlier this month the FDA requested that Botox and its newly approved competitor Dysport should carry black box warnings.

The main reason for this warning is the off label use of the drugs to treat spasticity in children with cerebral palsy.

These warnings come after the 2008 death of a child with cerebral palsy being treated for spasticity.

It is believed that children being treated for spasticity are given a higher dose of the drug than those being treated for cosmetic purposes thus presenting an extreme danger to the child.

For more information on the 2008 FDA warning please see my previous post.

May 11, 2009

International Cerebral Palsy Conference

by Robert D'Iorio

In February of 2009 Sidney Australia hosted the 3rd Annual International Cerebral Palsy Conference. The conference brought together many of the leading international researchers as well as over 1,300 delegates and close to 400 international visitors.

The video below highlights the conference.

May 9, 2009

Cord Blood and Cerebral Palsy

by Robert D'Iorio

With the recent studies done on cord blood stem cells and cerebral palsy I have been getting a lot of questions regarding the banking of cord blood. The video below discusses both public and private methods of storing cord blood.

For more information on the studies involving cord blood and cerebral palsy please see my previous posts.

May 7, 2009

Cesarean Section ( C - Section) and Birth Injuries

by Robert D'Iorio

One theory of liability some of the best or top Medical Malpractice Lawyers / attorneys often use when bringing birth injury Lawsuits involving cerebral palsy or Erbs Palsy is failure to perform a TIMLEY C – section. Put simply, this means that the doctor or medical staff did not perform a c- section soon enough to prevent damage or injury to the child or did not perform a c-section when the situation called for one resulting in an injury to the child.

There are several reasons the doctor or medical staff should perform a C- section. The video below discusses several including:

Shoulder dystocia

Signs of fetal distress

Fetal heart rate accelerations or decelerations

Lack of oxygen to child

Placental abruption

Placenta previa

Breech Birth

High Blood Pressure


Additionally, the video discusses the process involved in performing a C – section.

May 5, 2009

Cord Blood Stem Cells and Cerebral Palsy

by Robert D'Iorio

Recently, there has been much progress in utilizing cord blood stem cells in treating cerebral palsy. The following video discusses the uses of cord blood. Additionally, the video touches on donor cord blood i.e. using another child’s cord blood if your child’s cord blood was not banked.

For a more detailed discussion on cord blood stem cell therapy for the treatment of cerebral palsy please see my previous posts.

May 3, 2009

New Cerebral Palsy Study: Deep Brain Stimulation Improves Dystonia in Children

by Robert D'Iorio

Last week The American Academy of Neurology released the results of study conducted by Warren A. Marks M.D. that concluded that deep brain stimulation improves dystonia in children with cerebral palsy.

Deep brain stimulation or DBS is a treatment involving the surgical implantation of a brain pacemaker. This medical device sends electrical impulses to specified parts of the brain.

Deep brain stimulation is thought to improve dystonia in children more effectively than adults because younger patients demonstrate less fixed orthopedic impairment.

DBS was approved by the FDA for use in treating dystonia in 2003. Since that time DBS has been used to treat primary dystonia and used far less frequently to treat dystonias that are secondary to cerebral palsy.

Here is a link to the article