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  • Mental Health Disorders are Common in Kids with Cerebral Palsy – Study Shows

    Why children with CP are at higher risk of developing mental health disorders. Learn more about the findings of the team of researchers from the University of Michigan.

    January 25, 2019 | Related:


    US navy assists a body with cerebral palsy
    US Navy (USN Lt. Joshua Miller, Medical Treatment Facility, US Military Sealift Command (MSC) Mercy Class Hospital Ship USNS MERCY (T-AH 19), assists a boy with Cerebral Palsy, in a wheelchair, down the stairs at the Karang Rejo Puskemas-Outreach facility, Tarkakan, Indonesia, during a humanitarian and civic visit. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist First Class Michael R. McCormick) (Released)

    Children with cerebral palsy are more inclined to develop mental health disorders, according to a study published in the Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology journal. It could be because of their levels of pain, sleep, and physical activity,

    However, the details are insufficient. The study failed to identify the reason mental health disorders occur in children with cerebral palsy.  

    But researchers at the University of Michigan studied the sleep duration and pain in children with this condition. The study showed that the chances of developing a mental health disorder were higher in kids with cerebral palsy than those without CP. Kids with CP are 3.8 times more likely to develop anxiety and conduct problems. 

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression and behavioral problems are mental health disorders. The physical risk factors would include physical activity, pain, and sleep duration. 

    Kids with cerebral palsy lack physical activity. Furthermore, children without CP met the recommended hours of sleep for their age. 

    However, this finding requires further study to find out whether or not improving physical activity can lower the risk of developing mental health disorders. 

    “Children with CP have an elevated prevalence of mental health disorders even after accounting for physical risk factors. Low physical activity and pain partially accounts for the association between CP and depression. Children with cerebral palsy (CP) have an elevated risk of developing mental health disorders. Physical factors do not fully account for higher mental health disorder prevalence. Physical activity partially accounts for the relationship between CP and depression. Pain partially accounts for the relationship between CP and depression.”

    Wiley Online Library

    Widely Used Drugs for Heart Health Could Treat Mental Health Disorders 

    On the other hand, there are common drugs for cardiovascular health and diabetes that can be used to treat mental illness. Patients who took them regularly have reduced the number of times they required hospital treatment. 

    Although the researchers said that these findings have potential, there is still a need for these drugs to be tested in clinical trials. 

    The team of researchers focused on anti-cholesterol drugs, which are used to reduce inflammation related to mental health disorders. They could also help in absorbing properly anti-psychotic medicines. 

    Blood pressure drugs could also help as they alter the calcium that signals the brain linked to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Then, there’s type 2 diabetes metformin that could alter mood. 

    However, the team of researchers did not conduct clinical trials. Rather, they examined life-long medical records of thousands of individuals in Sweden, who were suffering from bipolar disorder and other mental health disorders. They also compared the number of times that these patients were taken to a psychiatric hospital clinic while they took these drugs. 

    The researchers found that there was a reduction of up to 20%  in the number of times they were admitted to a mental health facility when they took the medicines. 

    The result of this study could suggest that those drugs could be repurposed to improve the outcomes of those who are suffering from mental health disorders. 

    The team of researchers agreed that clinical trials must be performed to make their findings conclusive. 

    Meanwhile, there are ways that you could help improve your mental health and wellness. You may check our blog post or view this video. 

    P.S. “Wellness is the complete integration of body, mind, and spirit – the realization that everything we do, think, feel, and believe has an effect on our state of well-being.” Buy our top-selling health and wellness products here.      

    About the author

    Erliza Lee Erliza Lee has a BS Biology degree. She likes writing topics related to health and travel.

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