A combination of conventional rehabilitation therapy and acupoint injection therapy significantly improves blood circulation in the brains of children with cerebral palsy, promoting nerve cells’ growth and function recovery, a study found.
Cerebral palsy (CP) comprises a group of disorders characterized by mental disability and impairments to posture, voluntary movement and speech in children. These disorders are usually caused by brain lesions that occur during fetal development or infancy.
While conventional rehabilitation therapy has been shown to significantly improve motor impairments in children with CP, its effects on mental disability are far from satisfactory. “Therefore, exploring effective treatment methods is the key to improving the cognitive developmental levels in children with CP,” researchers stated.
Acupoint injection therapy — where conventional and homeopathic medicine, vitamins, and supplements are injected directly into damaged tissues — has been used to treat more than 100 different disorders, including CP.
In this study, a team of Chinese researchers set out to investigate the effects of GM1 (trisialoganglioside-GT1b) — a compound that has been shown to promote nerve cell differentiation and maturation — acupoint injection therapy on mental disability in a group of children with CP.
The 90 children were divided into three groups: those treated with GM1 acupoint injection therapy (group A); those treated with GM1 administered through standard under-the-skin injections (group B); and those treated with conventional rehabilitation therapy (group C). A forth group (group D) comprising 30 healthy children was also included in the study as a reference healthy control group.
Children in group A received four injections at the top of the head, three on the side, three at the front hairline and three at the back of the head in specific acupuncture points. Their cognitive and motor function were evaluated with the Mental Developmental Index (MDI) and the Psychomotor Developmental Index (PDI), respectively. Brain blood circulation properties were assessed before and after treatment.
Results showed that MDI and PDI scores increased in all three groups after treatment (86.7% for group A, 70% in group B and 60% in group C). While children in group A experienced the highest increase, no statistically significant differences were found between children in groups B and C.
Children in group A showed a clear improvement in brain blood circulation. No significant changes in blood flow parameters were observed in children from groups B and C.
“[Acupoint] injection therapy quickened blood flow velocity by strengthening arterial vitality and improving brain tissue blood circulation. The growth and function recovery of brain nerve cells were facilitated through a combination of the three aspects. [However], it should be noted that improvement through acupoint injection therapy was achieved in conjunction with conventional rehabilitation,” researchers said.
“[Further] research is needed in order to discover optimal drugs and treatment methods for treating children with CP,” they concluded.