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

Childhood abuse linked to greater risk of endometriosis, study finds

July 17, 2018
Endometriosis, a painful condition that affects one in 10 reproductive-age women in the U.S., has been linked to childhood physical and sexual abuse, according to findings published today in the journal Human Reproduction.

Why men might recover from flu faster than women

July 17, 2018
Men may recover more quickly from influenza infections because they produce more of a key lung-healing protein, a study from scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests.

Broadly acting antibodies found in plasma of Ebola survivors

July 17, 2018
Recent Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreaks, including the 2013-2016 epidemic that ravaged West Africa and the 2018 outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, highlight the need for licensed treatments for this often-deadly ...

Hidden blood in feces may signal deadly conditions

July 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Even if it's not visible to the naked eye, blood in the stool can be serious—a sign of a potentially fatal disease other than colon cancer, new research suggests.

Scientists a step closer to predicting epidemics

July 13, 2018
Ecologists at the University of Georgia have taken an important step in their efforts to develop an early warning system for infectious disease outbreaks.

Researchers identify target for novel malaria vaccine

July 13, 2018
A Yale-led team of researchers have created a vaccine that protects against malaria infection in mouse models, paving the way for the development of a human vaccine that works by targeting the specific protein that parasites ...

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.