Nanotech Study Provides Hope for Cerebral Palsy Prevention Treatment

Donald Saiontz

By Donald Saiontz
Posted April 30, 2012


The relatively young science of nanotechnology may hold a key for effective early preventative treatment of cerebral palsy, according to a new report. 

Cerebral palsy is a medical term describing disorders of movement control and muscle coordination, which may be caused by a brain injury that occurs before, during or shortly after birth. If the brain of a baby is deprived of oxygen, it can result in damage that has been irreversible, leaving the child with developmental problems, loss of motor functions and other life-long injuries and disabilities.

In a breakthrough study published on April 18 in the medical journal Science Translational Medicine, researchers from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Perinatology Research Branch indicate that they have successfully used nanotechnology to restore motor skills in baby rabbits with cerebral palsy, and hope that one day the treatment, or something similar, will be an option for human infants with the disorder.

Nanotechnology, often referred to as nanotech, is an emerging science that involves the manipulation of matter at the size of atoms and molecules. Researchers indicate that they used this science to create molecule chains called dendrimers, which were able to precisely deliver anti-inflammatory drugs directly to parts of the brain that were damaged in the rabbits.

Cerebral Palsy Lawyers

Cerebral Palsy Malpractice Lawyers

If medical malpractice at birth causes a child to suffere a brain injury that results in cerebral palsy, compensation may be available for the child and family.


The improvements were dramatic, researchers claim. Brain damaged baby rabbits who were immobile due to cerebral palsy that were treated within six hours of birth were showing exceptionally improved motor skills by their fifth day. By that point they were moving around almost like normal rabbits the researchers said.

The treatment worked because the dendrimers were able to pierce the blood-brain barrier and immediately reduce neuroinflammation in the brain which causes the loss of motor skills seen in cerebral palsy. However, it must be done quickly after birth before permanent damage sets in.

The researchers used rabbits because their brain develops some before birth and some after birth, a trait they share with humans. It may be years or even decades before any potential treatment is verified and deemed safe and effective for human babies. In addition, even then, the brain damage must be identified almost immediately after birth and treatment must be quickly made available. However, this research may eventually allow many children to avoid disabilities associated with cerebral palsy.


Although cerebral palsy can occur without a medical mistake, when the exercise of the proper standards of medical care could have prevented the child’s brain from being deprived of oxygen, financial benefits to provide for the care and treatment of the child may be available through a cerebral palsy negligence lawsuit.

Hopefully research like this points toward an end for these types of birth injury lawsuits at some point in the future.

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