Neurological damage in children
Cerebral palsy describes a broad group of neurological disorders that are often caused by the fetal distress of the child during delivery. The most common cause is a lack of oxygen, which results in what is called anoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy.
The clinical picture includes motor disorders, alterations in the sensory sphere, hearing, vision and thinking. Some patients simultaneously have symptoms of epilepsy, learning difficulties and behavioural problems.
We therefore see that the picture can be very different depending on the severity of the damage to the central nervous system. Symptoms usually appear before the child reaches the age of 3 years, being more common its appearance between 12 and 18 months, when parents observe that they do not develop their basic motor functions, which allow them to sit, maintain the sitting position, crawl or kneel, later get up and walk.
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Cerebral palsy causes different types of psychic disability. The alteration of movement limits the child to actively explore the world and to know it; the lack of independence creates social consequences of this disease.
Advantages of hyperbaric chamber therapy for neurological damage in children
There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but the aim of treatment is to improve functional skills that facilitate independence and improve quality of life. One of the most important purposes is to reduce muscle stiffness or spasticity, as this can be very painful and is one of the most common symptoms.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is also used in the treatment of cerebral palsy. What is the rationale for this therapeutic option?
The damaged areas of the brain are in a state of metabolic penumbra, that is to say, a state in which the neurons have a decrease in blood flow that prevents these cells from transmitting electrical signals, that is to say, they are alive but do not exercise their function normally. The neurons in these areas are lazy, but when stimulated they can become functional cells. These neurons need oxygen. Under conditions of hyperbaric oxygenation they become metabolically active and can function again.
HMCE is a hyperbaric medicine centre which, very aware of these patients and their family environment, has been developing specific protocols for their treatment. Many children have been and are being treated at the HMCE, and it is currently a reference centre at European level for treatment with HBO to treat neurological damage in children.
For more information, you can make an appointment with our doctor, specialist in hyperbaric medicine and oxygen therapy, to analyze your case in depth without commitment. The first medical appointment is free of charge.
This post is also available in: Spanish