The Boy Who Could Run but Not Walk: Understanding Neuroplasticity in the Child’s Brain

Karen Pape. Barlow (Midpoint, U.S. dist.; Georgetown, Canadian dist.), $25 (352p) ISBN 978-1-988025-05-6
Neonatologist and clinical neuroscientist Pape argues that treatments for children with early damage to the brain, nerves, or spinal cord have not been ambitious enough. Her goal is "a cure for some, improvement for all." She criticizes the inertia she has observed in medicine that causes many primary care providers to postpone referring patients with cerebral palsy (CP) for treatment until symptoms become "bad enough" to warrant attention. Early intervention, she argues, produces far better results. She criticizes the same inertia for resisting challenges to the disproved yet still common belief that in many cases, rehabilitation is impossible and the best possible outcome is the child's condition failing to worsen. Using personal observations, case studies, and published research, Pape makes a convincing case for a more optimistic prognosis for children with CP. The book reads like an academic text, and the tone is likely too esoteric for general readers, but Pape's descriptions of a variety of treatments may provide useful updates for medical professionals, and the whole book will be interesting to parents and caregivers of children with cerebral palsy. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/12/2016
Release date: 09/20/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
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