Researchers from Universidad Anahuac analyzed the role nutrition plays on children with cerebral palsy and their gross motor skills. The study could revolutionize the treatment of one of the most pressing diseases for Mexican children.
Cerebral palsy patients tend to respond very slowly to the physiotherapy that is common for treating this type of disease due to their deteriorated nutritional state, gastrointestinal disorders and energy exhaustion caused by the disease. Treatments are based on experimental designs and tend to deal only with nutrition to cover energetic requirements without considering supplementation even though it is known that malnutrition limits a patient’s progress.
The study sought to determine the effect of nutritional system support (NSS)—which consists of a special diet, supplements and probiotics—on the gross motor skills of children with spastic cerebral palsy, the most common type of cerebral palsy, and with a Gross Motor Function Classification System III (GMFCS III). This was done after nutrients like glutamine, arginine, nicotinic acid, zinc, selenium, cholecalciferol, spirulina, omega and vegetable proteins were found to successfully stimulate the nervous system.
The study was conducted by José Juan Antonio Ibarra Arias, Coordinator, Center of Research in Health Sciences Anahuac (CISCA) and Fernando Leal-Martinez, Associate Researcher, CISCA. It followed 30 patients between four and 12 years of age in the Infantile Rehabilitation Center Teleton (CRIT) in Tlanepantla, State of Mexico. Patients were assigned to three groups: dietary vigilance, parasite elimination and OMS diet as well as parasite elimination and NSS. The patients gross motor skills were recorded and evaluated throughout the clinical trial.
Results showed that patients in the last group were able to crawl and stand by themselves even though they could not before the trial began due to their clinical conditions. Five out of 10 patients in this group were able to walk by themselves while all patients in other groups were not able to.
The study proved the positive effect NSS has on gross motor skills and advocates for its use in the treatment of cerebral palsy patients as it gives patients more autonomy on their movement and lowers dependence on caretakers.
Cerebral palsy is the main cause of motor disability for Mexican children, as the most affected age group by this disease in the country are children aged six to 12 years old. The study could revolutionize the treatment and effect on these patients. Additional research on the effect of NSS on adult memory and autoimmune diseases is undergoing.