Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a physical disability that affects movement and posture. In Australia there are approximately 34,000 people with CP and currently 17 million people worldwide. October 6 marks World Cerebral Palsy Day. A day to celebrate, create awareness and support those living with CP. The Kids Neuroscience Centre (KNC) are leading and collaborating on various efforts to diagnose CP early, pin down the driving causes of CP including new and rare genetic causes as well as explore better and newer ways to treat physical disability and epilepsy in individuals with CP.
Our clinician researchers are improving their ability to use video based ratings and features on images of the brain from techniques like MRI to diagnose CP early and to pick up clues for various genetic disorders. Dr Shekeeb Mohammad, Head of the Movement Disorders Research Group at KNC, anchors the movement disorder clinic and research around genomic diagnosis, precision therapies and deep brain stimulation for physical disability in CP. Dr Esther Tantsis leads the CP early diagnosis clinic and is starting an exciting international collaborative project on genetic causes of CP. Dr Kavitha Kothur is leading projects on diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy in children with CP.
The movement disorder clinic looks after ~20 families with disorders called neurotransmitter disorders that cause CP but are treatable by medicines like levodopa. Dr Mohammad is the national lead from Australia for the International Neurotransmitter Disorders Registry aiming to bring together clinical and patient experience from around the world. Currently 4 families with CP due to a gene called ADCY5, are benefiting from caffeine therapy in collaboration with the International ADCY5 Foundation. Find out more.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a cutting-edge neurosurgical treatment that may help improve disability and quality of life in selected children with cerebral palsy due to genetic conditions or birth injury. This involves surgical placement of a “brain pacemaker” to treat movement disorders. KNC are collaborating with colleagues and families to explore their expectations and satisfaction with precision and novel therapies like DBS. Al Graham, is one of many patients who’s life has been changed by this treatment. Al says,
DBS has immeasurably benefited my life. I was just using up all my energy and wasting away. It's good to be happy and healthy again
The team at KNC are working tirelessly to improve the lives of those living with CP. This World Cerebral Palsy Day we celebrate and support all those living with CP.
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