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)

Explore further: Cold medicine not for little children

Related Stories

Cold medicine not for little children

March 2, 2007
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta cautioned against giving cough syrup or cold medicine to children younger than 2 years old.

Difficult balance between play and learning

March 10, 2009
If the teacher is not capable of understanding the perspective of six year olds then the child's learning becomes unnecessarily difficult, or in some cases the child's interest in learning may not be aroused at all. This ...

Study examines cold medication use in young children

May 31, 2008
Cough and cold medication use in young children has been linked to a significant number of adverse effects and several deaths, leading the FDA to recommend against their use for children less than two years old. Despite these ...

Children who are dissatisfied with their appearance often have problems with their peer group

March 18, 2009
Being satisfied with one's appearance is one of the most important prerequisites for a positive self image. However, in today's appearance culture it is the rule rather than the exception that children and young people are ...

Researchers find differences in swallowing mechanism of Rett syndrome patients

August 4, 2008
Researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center have found that the reflux and swallowing problems that are common symptoms in patients with Rett syndrome and other neurological impairments, may be caused by ...

Children from low income families more likely to have sleep problems

May 2, 2007
Children from low income families have more sleep problems than children from middle class families, potentially impacting their health and performance at school, according to research that will be presented at the American ...

Recommended for you

Antibiotic prescribing influenced by team dynamics within hospitals

November 15, 2018
Antibiotic prescribing by doctors is influenced by team dynamics and cultures within hospitals.

Zika may hijack mother-fetus immunity route

November 14, 2018
To cross the placenta, Zika virus may hijack the route by which acquired immunity is transferred from mother to fetus, new research suggests.

Maternally acquired Zika immunity can increase dengue disease severity in mouse pups

November 14, 2018
To say that the immune system is complex is an understatement: an immune response protective in one context can turn deadly over time, as evidenced by numerous epidemiological studies on dengue infection, spanning multiple ...

New research aims to help improve uptake of hepatitis C testing

November 14, 2018
New research published in Scientific Reports shows persisting fears about HIV infection may impact testing uptake for the hepatitis C Virus (HCV).

Synthetic DNA-delivered antibodies protect against Ebola in preclinical studies

November 13, 2018
Scientists at The Wistar Institute and collaborators have successfully engineered novel DNA-encoded monoclonal antibodies (DMAbs) targeting Zaire Ebolavirus that were effective in preclinical models. Study results, published ...

Scientists illuminate causes of hepatitis B virus-associated acute liver failure

November 13, 2018
National Institutes of Health scientists and their collaborators found that hepatitis B virus (HBV)-associated acute liver failure (ALF)—a rare condition that can turn fatal within days without liver transplantation—results ...

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.