CEREBRAL PALSY

Description

  • Group of disorders that affect muscle movement and coordination
  • Vision, hearing, and sensation are also affected
  • Problem in the parts of the brain responsible for controlling muscles
  • Damage in the brain occur before birth, during birth, or shortly after birth

Symptoms

  • Variations in muscle tone
  • Stiff muscles and exaggerated reflexes (spasticity)
  • Stiff muscles with normal reflexes (rigidity)
  • Lack of muscle coordination (ataxia)
  • Tremors or involuntary movements
  • Excessive drooling and problems with swallowing
  • Difficulty walking
  • Balance and co-ordination problems

Causes

  • Mutations in genes
  • Maternal infections, such German measles and herpes simplex
  • Intracranial haemorrhage and stroke
  • Traumatic head injury
  • Lack of oxygen to the brain during labor and delivery
  • Severe jaundice in the infant
  • Brain infections, such as encephalitis and meningitis
  • Bleeding into the brain
  • Abnormal development of the brain

Risk Factors

  • Maternal health
  • Thyroid problems, intellectual disabilities or seizures
  • Infant illness
  • Severe or untreated jaundice
  • Complicated labor and delivery
  • Premature birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Being a twin or triplet
  • Breech birth
  • An infection of the brain – such as meningitis
  • Rh blood type incompatibility between mother and child

Diagnostic test

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Cranial ultrasound
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • Blood tests
  • Assessments of other conditions associated with the disorder

Treatments

  • Physical, occupational and developmental therapies
  • Surgery
  • Treatment of muscle and bone disorders
  • Therapy to help social skills and interpersonal skills
  • Medications
  • Assistive aids like wheelchairs, hearing and walking aids

Medications

  • Botox
  • Valium, Dantrium, Gablofen
  • Robinul, Robinul Forte
  • Dantrolene
  • Baclofen
  • Trihexyphenidyl

Prevention

  • Make sure you’re vaccinated
  • Seek early and continuous prenatal care
  • Practice good child safety
  • Take care of yourself during pregnancy

Lifestyle Management

  • Vaccination against diseases such as rubella
  • Regular visits to the doctor during pregnancy
  • Prevent head injuries to the child
  • Enhance the motor skills and ability to communicate
  • Involve a team of health professionals with different areas of expertise
  • Foster the child’s independence
  • Physical, occupational and developmental therapies to help cope