Cerebral palsy can cause a cascading chain of other diseases due to the difficulties caused by spasticity. One of these is nutritional deficiency. It can be hard to feed a child with cerebral palsy due to chewing and swallowing difficulties, prolonged feeding times, and an inability to feed themselves.
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Cerebral Palsy News Today reported on a study that shows one of these nutritional deficiencies can make CP worse, iron deficiency anemia.
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Researchers at Cairo University wanted to see if there was an impact on the development and motor performance of children with CP if they had anemia due to iron deficiency. They studied 100 children ages 4-6 for the study by collecting blood samples and running them through strength and motor function tests to see how they performed.
As might be expected, children with spastic cerebral palsy and anemia did much worse than those who had CP without anemia. They also found a positive correlation between hemoglobin levels and motor functions. Anemia is a lack of hemoglobin in the blood, which can be caused by a lack of iron in the diet.
The researchers recommend that anemia testing should be part of an examination for children with spastic CP to avoid neurodevelopmental consequences. Fortunately, it is easy to administer iron supplements. Speak with a doctor about dosages and methods.