A study published just a month ago indicates that researchers at the University of Minnesota are developing a new technique that may be a safe and effective intervention for children with Cerebral Palsy.
This new research involves using small electric current through two sponges placed on specific regions on a patient’s head. These regions control movement, and the current stimulation influences brain cells to communicate with each other to produce movement. In people with Cerebral Palsy, these cells may be dormant, and electric simulation may result in improved movement. The stimulation session lasts 20 minutes and consists of hand activities such as playing a game of Jenga.
The most common treatment currently available for cerebral palsy involves intensive rehabilitation that requires placing a person’s stronger arm in a sling to encourage use of their weaker arm. Research has shown that this method is not effective with all children and the usefulness of this treatment is uncertain.
This technique is still part of research and the actual treatment that could be provided to any child with cerebral palsy may be many years away. This project has been going on for 11 years and over the course of this project, the researchers have demonstrated the safety and feasibility of this technique to dampen cerebral palsy’s effects.
Watch the videos below to learn more about Dr. Gillick’s work.