treatments for cerebral palsy in children
the Adelhi suit for cerebral palsy treatments></CENTER>
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Introduction: The Adeli Suit for Cerebral Palsy

Originally designed by the Russian space program for cosmonauts to maintain muscle tone in a weightless environment, the Adeli Suit has been modified to help people with cerebral palsy.

The form-fitting suit, equipped with adjustable, elastic bands, is designed to put the body in proper alignment. "It's an interesting concept," says Dr. Edward Dabrowski, codirector of neurology and rehabilitation medicine at Children's Hospital of Michigan. "I affectionately call it a bungee cord suit. If a child has cerebral palsy and doesn't have motor control, it acts as a restriction of where that limb will go."

Patients are then put through rigorous physical therapy to help "re-train" the brain to understand the signals from the correct movements of muscles.

"The brain is like a computer," says Richard Koscielny, a West Bloomfield physical therapist. "It's programmed to tell the muscles how to operate. But a virus has infected that computer and destroyed the program, so the muscles don't know how to work. The suit puts the child in an environment where the muscles can work properly. It creates a feedback system where the muscle and brain are working together."

The Adeli Suit - through its elements - influences the antigravitational system, providing a flow of proprioceptive impulses from the joint , muscles and ligaments in an organized way that normalizes the functioning of the CNS structures responsible for speech, precise movements and statomotorics.

The Adeli suit is available at the Euromed Clinic in Poland. Anecdotal reports are available of children gaining in speech and fine motor control, as well as movement. No controlled clinical trials have been done to date.

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Rehabilitation of Children Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy Using "Adeli" Suit
Based on Dynamic Proprioceptive Correction

This method was developed by Prof. K. Siemionowa and associates at the Pediatric Institute, which is affiliated with the Russian Academy of Science. The scientists developing this method based their activities on the research conducted by Prof. Barer regarding neurological and morphological changes observed in astronauts in prolonged lack of gravity (weightless) environments .

Hypogravity (lack of gravity) and hypodynamics (hypokinesis) result in a disturbed Functional Antigravitation System which manifests itself in muscular atrophy, disruption in movement coordination and gait disturbances. Applying the Adeli Suit in weightlessness (hypogravity environment), Prof. Barer and his associates achieved minimization of many negative factors and phenomena.They also noted an increased adaptation of the astronauts to the forces of gravity after returning from space.

In children with Cerebral Palsy, one of the principle pathological factors of locomotion are changes of the Functional Antigravitation System (FAS). They have different origins and causes (than those caused by lack of gravity), but have the same result: diminished capabilities to counteract gravitational forces. The resulting the "chain reaction" - caused by insufficiencies in the FAS - disturb motor development by either blocking or slowing down:

The authors of this method theorized that they could correct an insufficient FAS by using the Adeli Suit, which was developed to dynamically correct (through proprioceptive correction) the noted pathologies.

Development of the brain and the spinal cord is significantly influenced by the interceptive impulses from the ligamento-muscular apparatus and vestibular system. Structures of the vestibular system are one of the major zones processing impulses from proprioceptors. Factors injuring/damaging the central nervous system (CNS) significantly compromise functions at all levels of the vestibular system. This results in (motor) dysfunction in all CNS levels responsible for the formation and control of movement.

Research conducted by Prof. Siemionowa indicated that using the"Adeli" method in the rehabilitation of children diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy stimulates the restarting of the developmental process of the vestibular system .Disturbances in labyrinthine synergies decreased and in some cases vanished, which clinically manifested in the normalization of muscle tone.

Gradually, particularly after the 2nd and 3rd rehabilitation session, the function within the semicircular canals and otolithic organs normalized and manifested in decreased spasticity. Improvement in vestibular system functioning resulted in diminished hyperkinesis .

In his research conclusions, Siemionowa asserted that the application of "Adeli" Suit therapy influences the flow of the afferent prioprioceptive impulses which in turn stimulate the develop of the vestibular system . The vestibular system integrates all other functional systems, which stimulate the postnatal development of the CNS . The CNS determines the normalization of motor development , speech and cognitive development.

Application of the "Adeli" method in actual practice - in other words, the reconstruction or rebuilding of pathological synergies and patterns of movement - is extremely difficult. Therefore, before the direct application of this method, it is very important to achieve maximal relaxation of the spastic muscles or to stimulate hypotonic musculature. This creates a better foundation upon which to establish synergy patterns of movement .

[Excerpted from: Rehabilitation of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy using "Adeli" Suit, based on dynamic proprioceptive correction (translated from Polish)].

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Additional Articles, Information & Links on the Adeli Suit

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Written and overseen by Lewis Mehl-Madrona, M.D., Ph.D.

Program Director, Continuum Center for Health and Healing,
Beth Israel Hospital / Albert Einstein School of Medicine

Hosted and maintained by The Healing Center On-Line © 2001

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