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     Plasticity for Infants and Children  
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Where the Hope Lies... Overview of Opportunities

Neuro Developmental Reorganization 
 + Overview 
 + Neuro Developmental Therapy / Feldenkrais 
 + Computer/Robotic Assistance 
 + Drug Treatments 
 + Constraint Induced Therapy 
 + Institute for The Advancement Of Human Potential 
Bio-Mechanical Reorganization
 + Advanced Bio-Mechanical Rehabilitation 
 + Advanced Neuro Rehabilitation 
Neuro Regeneration
 + Stem Cells 
 + Surgical Neuro Cell implantation  
 + Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment 
 + FGF 
 + G-Therapy 

 Injury Types 

 + Cerebral Palsy 
 + Pediatric Stroke / Hemi-kids 
 + TBI 
 + Near Drowning / Near Hanging 
 + Spastic 
 + Dystonic 

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Learn how you can help bring Hope through Advocacy, Education and  Research . 

Is the Brain Truly to Blame?  A radical new theory to what causes Cerebral Palsy and how to treat it.

Lets begin by making a radical assumption... that although the initial injury occurs to the tissue of the brain, the crippling motor issues seen as children grow are caused not by the brain injury itself but by the electrical inputs from muscles, bones and tissues that are connected electrically to the brain. Lets assume that the brain is primarily a receptive organ as opposed to a transmitting organ. Lets assume that the brain becomes what it is based upon the inputs or lack of inputs that it receives from its incoming electrical lines. With these assumptions, unless the initial injury can be prevented, treatment should not first focus on the brain itself but rather should focus first on the incorrect inputs coming from the muscles, bones and tissues.

Given these assumptions the approach to therapy radically changes... using this approach we can explore the limitations of popular therapies such as Physical Therapy, Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment, Patterning, the Adeli Suit, Etc

Our first observation is that none of the existing therapies have a proven long term track record to significantly improve the outcomes of brain injured kids over the long run.  Many parents that we have spoken to with older kids have tried hundreds of HBOT sessions, they have tried Institutes Program, they have tried just about all the currently promoted therapies.  The bottom line is that although these therapies do produce some improvements, they still leave the child far from optimal and in certain cases the child may actually regress to a worse state later in life.


The relevant question is why?  Why are these therapies not effective?  Why do they sometime cause more harm in the long term?

A possible answer lies with viewing the brain injury in a different light.  By realizing the brain is equally a receptive as well as a transmitting organ, and by realizing that the body's physical structure and environment play a equally large role in normal brain development as the brain itself.

If you accept this assumption, brain regeneration treatments like HBOT or Stem Cells become a secondary treatment. Only to be effective after a healthy input system to the brain can be established. Until the input system is corrected, new brain cells awakened in HBOT would only be receiving garbled inputs from broken input system. Other the other hand, therapies that seek to correct the input system, such as NDT, ANR and Feldenkris. Become the initial treatment of choice. 

Specifically, an approach know as ANR attempts to go further than any previous theory in explaining exactly what goes wrong at that critical moment after the initial brain injury occurs. ref a   It the application of his theory is still very much in the development stages however the suggestion that the theory offers a radical hypotheses that answers the question as to why such limited results are seen from other thearpies.  

ANR suggests that the critical system that is affected by the initial injury is the respiratory system. Every brain injured child develops different issues and different degrees of disability. However, almost unequivocally, all brain injured children exhibit certain common problems. From a muscular-skeletal perspective, brain injured kids almost all share the same sagging shoulders, displaced pelvis, toe pointing, etc. ANR attempts to explain this phenomena by proposing that the initial brain injury interferes with the normal respiratory system development. With a compromised respiratory system the internal tissues of the abdomen do not develop and the child does not develop the internal integrity that becomes the foundation that all other muscular-skeletal feature build upon. Thus, the abnormal development of this foundation later explains spacticity, contractors, breathing and swallowing difficulty and many other issues that are based upon proper muscular-skeletal alignment. With poor motor coordination, children do not experience as rich a sensory environment and thus other aspects of development are hindered and the viscous cycle of developmental delay begins. ANR proposes to treat the respiratory system using a form of massage that the therapists imparts movement to the damaged tissues that would otherwise never occur. With movement they put energy directly to the tissues of the chest, neck and abdomen and this energy is naturally translated into electrical signals which flow back to the brain and begin to sculpt the brain into a form the more closely resembles a normal infant. This approach is slow and hands own. The developer of the therapy says that results should not be expected until 300 hours of treatment have been completed.

The uniqueness of this approach is that, for the first time to my knowledge, a theory as to what specifically causes spacticity and contractures has been put forth. And even more importantly proposes a treatment for problem. This theory also has the advantage of fitting very well with the leading theory of how humans develop motor learning, the "Dynamic Systems Theory of Motor Development". Dynamics Systems Theory, like ANR, proposes that the brain is only one of many equally important factors in the development of motor skills. ANR goes a step further by pinpointing the respiratory system as the key factor effecting motor development in brain injured children.

Again, we do not endorse the ANR approach.  We are however, very excited that a testable theory as to the root cause of some the worst complication caused by brain injury has finally been developed.




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