A com­mon dis­or­der

The New Zealand Herald - - NEWS -

Cere­bral palsy, a group of move­ment dis­or­ders, is the most com­mon cause of phys­i­cal dis­abil­ity in child­hood, af­fect­ing two in 1000 chil­dren. It’s caused by ab­nor­mal de­vel­op­ment or dam­age to parts of the brain that con­trol move­ment, bal­ance and pos­ture. Chil­dren with the dis­or­ders have re­duced mus­cle and bone mass, and mus­cles that nor­mally work in com­ple­men­tary ac­tion will si­mul­ta­ne­ously go into spasm, mak­ing move­ment dif­fi­cult, and lead­ing to mus­cle wast­ing over time. About half of chil­dren have a raised risk of bone frac­tures, partly be­cause their mus­cles aren’t pulling on their bones in the nor­mal way to pro­mote healthy bone de­vel­op­ment. Un­til now, treat­ments to re­lieve the con­di­tion’s ef­fects have been fairly lim­ited: in­jec­tion of botox, surgery, passive stretch­ing by phys­io­ther­a­pists and in­jec­tion of bis­pho­s­pho­nates to in­crease bone den­sity. Dr Sil­mara Gusso (above) headed tri­als of the vi­bra­tion de­vice which helped Luke Tor­rens Kelly (right) gain 2kg in mus­cle mass af­ter five months.

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