- Release Date 08 Jun 2009
- Team Members / Doctors Gagliano N, Pelillo F, Chiriva-Internati M, Picciolini O, Costa F, Schutt RC Jr, Gioia M, Portinaro N
- Main Subject Metabolism of the tendons in children affected by cerebral palsy
- Location Humanitas Research Hospital, Milan, Italy
- Category Cerebral Palsy, Molecular Biology, Pediatric Orthopedics
In cooperation with Fondazione Ariel Prof. Portinaro’s molecular biology research has been focusing on the characterization of the effect of spasticity on the metabolism of the tendons in children affected by cerebral palsy, since 2003.
As observed in clinical practice, children with cerebral palsy progressively lose their motor control until they are confined to a wheelchair. In most severe cases this happens by puberty.
The treatment of spasticity and movement anomalies is the main objective of the various therapeutic approaches adopted to these patients at different times in their lives.
However, the effect of spasticity on the structure and function of the tendons has not yet been clarified in detail. Understanding the biological mechanisms responsible for these changes could allow us to adopt new therapeutic strategies that can improve motor performance of patients with CP.
The goal of the research project on tendons was to determine whether spasticity, understood as a pathological mechanical stimulus on the tendons, was in itself able of modifying some of the properties of the tendons in children with CP.
The understanding of these phenomena allowed to identify some of the modifications through which the tendons of patients affected by CP adapt to the abnormal mechanical stress induced by spasticity. At the same time, it has been possible to outline the possible structural modifications to the tendons.
The aim of the research was to acquire the results of the different clinical situations observed in these patients.
The result of this process allowed us to determine some unique treatment algorithms both for the choice of the surgical technique and for the choice of the exact and best moment to intervene. That is before the observed modifications establish and become deficient.
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