According to an article in the Oakland Press, micronutrients may hold some promise for people who suffer with CP.
It’s important to keep in mind, however, that these methods of treatment have not been formally tested. In some regards, they’re not subject to the same type of testing that the FDA conducts on medicines.
The Detroit Therapy
The Children’s Hospital in Detroit last year reported that children who were born prematurely (including some with CP) had shown some progress after being given micronutrients. The science behind the treatment is rather straightforward.
Normally, a woman would pass along micronutrients to a fetus during her third trimester. When children are born prematurely, they do not get this benefit. The Children’s Hospital had started treatment as part of their Preemie Growth Project and found that one child with CP managed to put on a healthy amount of weight and that another had shown less severe neuromuscular symptoms. At the same time, however, a study conducted in 2007 in Norway questions whether or not this treatment was effective at all.
Micronutrients show up as traces of substances in fresh foods. They include substances such as aluminum and barium, according to the article. The children who were given micronutrients via supplements, according to the Preemie Growth Project, started reaching growth milestones more quickly than expected. One child with CP was able to achieve enough muscular control that he was able to communicate with a device that allows people with limited mobility to type.
Whether or not this will provide help for children with cerebral palsy, however, is still up in the air. Scientific studies require very sophisticated methods—including double-blind testing—that have not been performed for this type of therapy yet. Additionally, this therapy involves nutrition, and therefore is not a medical therapy that would be subject to the same types of testing that a new pharmaceutical or physical therapy method could be.
There are always new treatments being devised for the symptoms of CP. Though the brain damage itself can never be repaired, increasingly detailed medical knowledge of the body has provided new routes toward alleviating some of the worst of the symptoms, and in some happy cases, has managed to eliminate some symptoms altogether. The micronutrient therapy may help with some symptoms, according to what some doctors found, but much testing remains to be done before it is evaluated in full.