Brain-damaged children often have cold feet

October 19, 2009

Many wheelchair-using children with neurological disorders have much colder hands and feet than other children, and most receive no special help even though they have had these problems for a long time, is revealed in at thesis from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

"These have a disorder that can make it difficult to express how they feel, but it must be unpleasant to have cold hands and feet," says physiotherapist Lena Svedberg, author of the thesis. "I find it surprising that the matter hasn't been given more attention."

The thesis shows that skin temperature in brain-damaged preschool children in wheelchairs was several degrees lower than in children without neurological disorders. The temperature of their feet was three degrees lower and their hands two degrees lower than children without brain damage. The reason for their cold extremities may be that the affects the part of the nervous system that is not controlled by the will and which, among other things, regulates blood circulation, digestion and sleep.

"This hypothesis is supported by a study in the thesis that shows that children with who had cold hands and feet also had problems with constipation, sleeping disorders, pain and impaired
well-being," says Svedberg.

There is currently no established treatment for cold hands and feet, but a small pilot study - also part of the thesis - demonstrates that acupuncture might be effective.

" activates the nerve fibres that lead inwards and can affect activity in the autonomic nervous system," says Svedberg. "We could see that treatment raised skin temperature in some children with neurological disorders, but it is a very small study and more research is needed."

Parents are often anxious when children have cold hands and feet indoors, but the long-term effects on children are unknown.

"However, there are studies that suggest that balance reactions can be affected if the soles of the feet are cold," explains Svedberg.

Source: University of Gothenburg (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

H7N9 influenza is both lethal and transmissible in animal model for flu

October 19, 2017
In 2013, an influenza virus that had never before been detected began circulating among poultry in China. It caused several waves of human infection and in late 2016, the number of people to become sick from the H7N9 virus ...

Flu simulations suggest pandemics more likely in spring, early summer

October 19, 2017
New statistical simulations suggest that Northern Hemisphere flu pandemics are most likely to emerge in late spring or early summer at the tail end of the normal flu season, according to a new study published in PLOS Computational ...

Migraines may be the brain's way of dealing with oxidative stress

October 19, 2017
A new perspective article highlights a compelling theory about migraine attacks: that they are an integrated mechanism by which the brain protects and repairs itself. Recent insightful findings and potential ways to use them ...

New insights into herpes virus could inform vaccine development

October 18, 2017
A team of scientists has discovered new insights into the mechanisms of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, as well as two antibodies that block the virus' entry into cells. The findings, published in Proceedings of the National ...

Pair of discoveries illuminate new paths to flu and anthrax treatments

October 17, 2017
Two recent studies led by biologists at the University of California San Diego have set the research groundwork for new avenues to treat influenza and anthrax poisoning.

Portable 3-D scanner assesses patients with elephantiasis

October 17, 2017
An estimated 120 million people worldwide are infected with lymphatic filariasis, a parasitic, mosquito-borne disease that can cause major swelling and deformity of the legs, a condition known as elephantiasis. Health-care ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.