Australian researchers have recently carried out experiments that show that muscle tissue may function differently than previously thought.
Previously, medicine believed that muscle tissues was arranged is straight fibers. The new research shows that muscle tissue can buckle when they are at rest. This may hold the potential of significant advances in the treatment of conditions such as cerebral palsy, where abnormal muscle tissue and function are problems that cause serious disabilities for sufferers.
The research used ultrasound to image muscle tissue. The imaging was done on the calf muscles and the muscles were imaged in different states to get an accurate picture of the tissue under different circumstances. The research showed that the muscle tissues could shorten when they were at rest. It also showed that some individuals have muscle tissue that will buckle under certain circumstances. In individuals with cerebral palsy, spasmodic tissue is a huge problem and one of the most significant sources of the difficulties that they face.
Finding a way to help cerebral palsy sufferers get relief could result from this type of research. Currently, the brain injury that causes cerebral palsy is incurable, which means that physicians have to rely on treatments that target the muscles affected by the condition. New therapies may allow individuals to live full lives and to be free of some of the most painful and debilitating aspects of CP. Among those debilitating aspects are episodes where the muscles spasm to the extent that the sufferer is essentially incapacitated. These episodes can be extremely painful in addition to being debilitating and they require some of the most expensive medical interventions to treat.
While researchers continue to work on the symptoms of cerebral palsy, other scientists are working on addressing the cause of the disorder. Scientists have recently found that a particular protein may prevent the type of brain injury that results in CP, providing hope that, in the future, we can prevent such types of birth injuries.