A new hope for Celebral Palsy patients

HBOT, a treatment in which the patient is made to breathe pure oxygen, can reverse brain damage in eight months.

india Updated: Apr 23, 2006 17:36 IST

Celebral Palsy, an irreversible brain disorder, may not be irreversible any more.

Experts from USA, and developing countries like India and China (UDAAN) have devised a treatment that could reverse brain damage due to the disease.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), a treatment in which the patient is made to breathe absolutely pure oxygen for an hour, rushes oxygen to the deprived brain tissues and reduces the extent of brain damage.

Celebral Palsy, a developmental disability, affects over 0.1 per cent Indians.

It is characterised defective control over muscles, and is often complicated by physical deformities caused by defective muscle control. It may or may not be accompanied by mental retardation.

It is caused due to oxygen deficiency in the child while in the mother's womb, during birth, or within five years of birth.

In India, 30 minutes of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and special education, are known to show considerable recovery from neurodevelopmental growth retardation in affected children.

However, when the same procedure is combined with HBOT, the neurodevelopmental growth rate is doubled by the eighth month.

HBOT has been available with the armed forces for decades due to the adverse environment they face everyday.

However, due to the risks of breathing absolutely pure oxygen, the treatment has been recommended after a lot of research.

According to experts, up to 40 sittings are sufficient to show significant improvement.

The treatment is not given to patients individually. Instead, three to eight patients are collectively kept in oxygen-rich chambers.

In India, UDAAN operates from South Delhi in a collaboration with Foundation for Spastic and Mentally Handicapped Persons, a charitable NGO.

It provides education and treatment to children affected by Celebral Palsy, Autism, Down Syndrome, and mental retardation.

First Published: Apr 23, 2006 17:36 IST