Nutech Functional Score (NFS), a New Scoring System to Assess the Level of Impairment in Patients with Cerebral Palsy
Background: A non-progressive disorder cerebral palsy (CP) occurs as a result of the damage to the brain of a fetus and newborns. It is estimated to affect every one in 323 children in the U.S. The Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) has been a validated and reliable tool used for assessing the gross motor function in patients with CP. However the use of tool has been found to be limited in assessing certain symptoms of CP that are essential to be evaluated. Our study aimed at developing a scoring system that can assess the symptoms which remained untouched in GMFCS.
Methods and Findings: We initiated compiling the lists of symptoms from the diagnostic records of the cases who visited our facility. CP patient who were previously assessed with GMFCS, were then assessed using Nutech Function Score (NFS), the new scoring system. NFS is a 32 point positional and directional scoring system that can assess the CP symptoms that remain far from assessment in GMFCS; these symptoms are feeding, indication, epilepsy, toilet training, drooling, mathematical skills, hearing, vision, commands, smiling, constipation, recognition/awareness, eye contact, aggression, speech, breathing difficulty, defense mechanism and swallowing. As opposed to GMFCS, NFS scoring system can be used to assess patients aged above 18 years. We have also converted the scores into numeric grades.
Conclusion: NFS appears to be a unique tool that can be used globally to assess the improvement in patients with CP.
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