ALLERGIC REACTIONS: CEREBRAL PALSY

Cerebral palsy can produce any one of a number of physical problems – poor co-ordination, muscle spasms, poor balance or an unsteady walk. Some defect or injury in the brain is to blame, perhaps caused by an infection or mishap shortly after birth. But allergy might make the problem worse.

A twenty-seven-year-old man with cerebral palsy went to a doctor because of constant colds, sore throats and other respiratory problems. He suspected he might be allergic to something Tests showed he was. But exposure to various allergens provoked both his respiratory symptoms and his palsy.

Marshall Mandell, an allergist in Norwalk, Connecticut who treated the man, reports thirty other people whose cerebral palsy improved considerably after discovery and treatment of unsuspected allergies.\n

‘The study strongly suggests evaluation of unsuspected allergy [would be worthwhile! in the one million cerebral palsy victims in this country,’ says Dr Mandell. Their chronic symptoms can be reduced and the quality of their lives greatly improved’ {Annals of Allergy)

Dr Mandell is also investigating the influence of allergies in Tourette’s syndrome and multiple sclerosis, two other central nervous system disorders.

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