Are early treatments for cerebral palsy effective?

Symptoms of cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that affects a person's ability to move and maintain balance and posture, appear early during childhood. A new analysis examines the effectiveness of therapies initiated from birth until 3 years of age for children with or at risk for cerebral palsy.

The analysis, which is published in Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, included all systematic reviews from 2009-2020 that assessed the results of relevant published studies.

Investigators concluded that research has generated limited supportive data and cannot yet confirm a greater benefit from early versus later interventions; however, earlier, more targeted research efforts are emerging that may provide novel insights.

"With earlier identification now possible, our new imperative is to translate neuroscience evidence on early brain recovery in animals into transforming developmental motor outcomes in children with ," said co-author Diane L. Damiano, Ph.D., of the National Institutes of Health.


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More information: Diane L Damiano et al, Early intervention evidence for infants with or at risk for cerebral palsy: an overview of systematic reviews, Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology (2021). DOI: 10.1111/dmcn.14855
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