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New Study Examines Benefits of Hand Therapy for Children With CP

Posted on in Cerebral Palsy

Chicago Birth Injury LawyerThough a diagnosis of cerebral palsy (CP) can be troubling, many children with CP are still able to enjoy a high quality of life. There are many treatments available that can help people manage the effects of CP and improve their mental and physical abilities, and research into new treatments is ongoing. Recently, researchers from Columbia University, Cornell University, and the Burke Neurological Institute have published the results of a study looking at the benefits of a treatment method known as intensive hand therapy.

The Effects of Cerebral Palsy on Motor Skills

Cerebral palsy is a condition that is often caused by brain damage during the process of childbirth, and it can affect muscle tone, control, and coordination throughout the body. Depending on the type of CP that a person has, the condition may affect their arms, legs, or both. Some children with CP are unable to walk, while others primarily experience impairments to their fine motor control.

In the recently published study, the researchers focused on a specific effect of CP known as ipsilateral connectivity, which means that both sides of the body are controlled by one side of the brain. As a result of this condition, the children in the study struggled with mobility and control in one of their arms or hands.

Intensive Hand Therapy for CP

The study examined the effects of two different intensive therapy methods. The first, known as Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT), involves temporarily restraining one of the child’s arms to promote the development of neural connections and motor skills in the arm that is primarily affected by CP. The second, known as Hand-Arm Bimanual Intensive Training (HABIT), focuses on the development of skills involving the use of both hands or arms in coordination. The children in the study participated in several intensive therapy sessions using one of these methods over a three-week period.

The researchers report that many of the participants in the study showed measured improvements even within this short timeframe, often well beyond the expected improvements over the course of several years of a child’s natural development. With these promising results, the researchers now hope to find ways to make these treatments and benefits more widely available to children living with CP.

Contact an Illinois Birth Injury Attorney

At Birth Injury Law Alliance, we strive to be a resource for families of children with cerebral palsy and other birth injuries. We can help you understand your legal options for pursuing financial relief, as well as explore the availability of different treatment methods and financial assistance to help you cover the costs. For a free consultation with a Chicago birth injury lawyer, contact us today at 312-462-4200.





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