Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis, Treatment May Be Improved by Speech Research

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By: Irvin Jackson | Published: September 9th, 2013

A Scottish university believes it could be on the verge of improving the speech of children suffering from cerebral palsy (CP).  

The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow issued a press release last week, announcing a new project to analyze the speech patterns of children affected by cerebral palsy.

Dr. Anja Kuschmann will lead the new research, which she suggests may lead to improved cerebral palsy diagnosis and speech therapy.

“Many children with CP have difficulties with speech melody, rhythm and stress. These difficulties, generally referred to as prosodic difficulties, can affect the intelligibility of a child’s speech, and are therefore of great clinical importance,” Kuschmann said in the press release. “However, the development of prosody in children is not well understood. As a result, it is not certain whether prosodic difficulties in CP are due to muscular problems during speaking or the inability to build and store the correct prosodic information in the brain.”

Kuschmann said that the three-year project will try to determine the underlying nature of the difficulties of speech faced by children with CP. Although there is no cure for cerebral palsy, therapy can often help increase the independence of people with the condition.

Cerebral palsy involves serious bran damage that can occur before, during or shortly after birth. If the brain of a baby is deprived of oxygen, it can result in irreversible damage that leaves the child with developmental problems, loss of motor functions and other life-long injuries and disabilities.

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, cerebral palsy negligence lawsuits are often filed to obtain compensation for the child.

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