That’s so neat. That’s a very good point. So moving forward, where is research going related to cerebral palsy because it sounds like there is a lot you don’t quite understand of what caused it? You are at a university medical center and connected to your colleagues around the world. What are you all looking into to try to make it even a bigger dent it in?
There are a number of different avenues of research. One of the things that is difficult to understand is why little babies have strokes in utero or shortly after birth. There is a great deal of interest in that and in the patterns, and if you can work out the factors that caused that. There is a lot of interest in looking at that. I think that is going to be very productive.
One of the other things we’ve realized is that in some children, in some families, when the nerve cells don’t migrate out the right place, that there is actually a genetic mechanism involved. There are genetic mechanisms involved in many of the migrational movements of the neurons in the brain.
And then the third area where there has been very active interest is in very small babies, prematurely born babies, is understanding all the neural developmental events that are occurring right there, right as you watch them in the nursery, as white matter is developing, neurons are moving, structures are developing because if we can understand how this all works then we think we could devise ways right there in the nursery to give these children additional neurologic protection so that they don’t end up with motor handicaps.
Wow, that’s cool. Well we wish you well with that. Dr. Robert Baumann is a two-time guest now on Patient Power. You express things so well, and we really appreciate your department and the University of Kentucky Medical Center helping us out as we discuss these neurologic issues for children. All the best with you. Now, do we have Mary or Deborah there now?
Well Mary, would you pass on our thanks to Deborah, and give that Brody a big hug for us. I know you are going to continue to be a very proud grandma, and I don’t know he will be a baseball pitcher with his left arm, who knows, but it sounds like you are doing all the right things. He sounds like a neat kid. We heard him a little bit in the background. If he were older than two we'd see if we could put him on the phone, but God knows what he would say at this age. You know there are all those things that you can’t say on the radio. Anyway, thank you so much for being with us.
I want to mention just a couple of things that I would be remiss if I didn’t. First of all of course there is the United Cerebral Palsy Association. Their website is http://www.ucp.org/. As we know with any of these conditions, particularly if it is less common, you think you are the only people in the world who have ever been affected by it, you don’t know anybody with it, and you are navigating all the medical stuff, and then you have, as Deborah said or any parent would say, ‘Oh, I felt guilty’. You have a lot to work through. Then there are lifelong issues; maybe not big ones but ones to be dealt with. So you are not alone. Often groups like the United Cerebral Palsy Association, or whatever the condition is that you are facing, can help you connect with others and, as I like to say, meet people who have sort of walked in your shoes ahead of you. People who have been down this road, you are not the first, and so I would urge you to do that. Also as Dr. Baumann was saying, with these conditions, it is so important to ultimately connect with a knowledgeable health care team, and certainly that’s what has happened for Brody, with the help of mom, Deborah, and grandma, Mary. They have come from eastern Kentucky there to the doctor’s office today. I’m sure Brody gets a checkup while he is there.
I want to mention what is coming up on Patient Power. First of all today if you can join us on our website, www.Patient Power.info For women affected by gynecologic cancer, we are going to do a program on the role of robotic surgery with Dr. Lowe from Northwestern Memorial Hospital. That’s today at 5:00 PM Pacific, 7:00 PM Central and 8:00 PM Eastern. Then tomorrow we are going to have with us an expert from the City of Hope on the latest in the study of diabetes, particularly islet cell transplantation for type 1. This is what we do on Patient Power. Remember knowledge can be the best medicine of all. In Seattle I’m Andrew Schorr. Have a great day. Signing off.
Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. Please have this discussion with your own doctor, that’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.