This health videos shows how stroke therapy can also help those who suffer from Cerebral Palsy.
Read the full transcript »
Jennifer Matthews: Willfulness is not considered a virtue in most five-year-olds, but Libby Hancock's determination has served her well. She's mastering tasks that should be out of her reach. Libby was born a twin -- 12 weeks early. Susan Hancock: The Sunday after she was born, she had an IVH, which is an intra-ventricular hemorrhage, which means she has, from that brain damage, she now had CP. Jennifer Matthews: CP, or cerebral palsy, is a condition that reflects damage to the developing brain. It usually affects body movement and muscle coordination. Psychologist Edward Taub thought a therapy for stroke patients might also help kids with CP. Edward Taub: Children have a more plastic nervous system, so that if anything, the results ought to be at least as good as in adults and quite possibly better. Jennifer Matthews: Taub and therapists tried constraint-induced therapy on their first young patient, Libby. They put a cast on Libby's good arm, forcing her to use only her affected arm for intensive play. Edward Taub: She did not crawl. She did not push herself into a sitting position with the affected arm. Susan Hancock: So, when she learned to crawl with that open hand, it was huge. Jennifer Matthews: Now, Libby takes on new challenges everyday with a willful spirit that won't be constrained. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.