Doctor: Fertility Treatments Boosting Cerebral Palsy Rate|
UPDATED: 12:06 pm EDT September 13, 2005
"Fertility treatments have greatly increased the chances that families will have
multiples, triplets, and even quadruplets.
The number of babies being delivered prematurely has also increased. About 15
years ago, premature babies had just a 20 percent chance of surviving. Today,
the odds have grown to nearly 90 percent, but that progress has come at a price,
reported WCVB-TV in Boston.
Twenty-five to 50 percent of preemies will have learning or behavioral
"About 10 to 15 percent of the preterm babies that we see will go on to develop
some form of cerebral palsy," said Dr. Adre du Plessis, of Children's Hospital
William Watson, 10, fights cerebral palsy's effects every minute of every day.
"Well, I have a pelvic obliquity, so my muscles are kind of like elastics,"
For William, boxing is both physical therapy and an outlet for pain.
"This is the stage of his life where the differences are beginning to become
more obvious," William's mother, Lori Watson, said.
What he really wants is to walk, but that's a leap he's been unable to make.
"It kind of gets frustrating to me after a while," he said.
William is not alone. Doctors say the cerebral palsy rate will continue to rise
until they can predict which premature babies will suffer the brain injury,
which right now they can't do."
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