Cerebral Palsy

Overview

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder which affects child’s movement and coordination. In most cases, it is caused by brain damage and affects vision, hearing, and sensation.

What are the symptoms of cerebral palsy?

The cerebral palsy symptoms can vary and range from mild to severe. It results in poor coordination, stiff muscles, weak muscles, tremors or problems in swallowing, and speaking.

Some of the common cerebral palsy symptoms include: 

  • variation in muscle tone
  • difficulty speaking
  • stiff muscles
  • lack of muscle coordination
  • involuntary movements
  • problems with swallowing
  • difficulty walking
  • neurological problems, such as seizures.

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What causes cerebral palsy?

Usually, Cerebral palsy occurs due to abnormal brain development or injury. The damage affects the parts of brain that controls body movement, coordination and posture. In most cases, the exact cause of CP isn’t known. Some possible cerebral palsy causes include:

  • lack of oxygen to the brain during labor and delivery
  • gene mutations causing abnormal brain development
  • brain infections
  • bleeding into the brain
  • head injuries

Types of cerebral palsy?

Here are some different cerebral palsy types that affect various parts of the brain:  

  • Spasticity or Spastic cerebral palsy causes stiff muscles which creates difficulty in walking.It is usually caused by damage to the portion of the brain or spinal cord that controls voluntary movement. The condition affects the extensor muscles and adductor muscles and causes involuntary muscle spasms.
  • Dyskinetic cerebral palsy causes involuntary, abnormal movements in the arms, legs and hands.
  • Hypotonic cerebral palsy causes diminished muscle tone and overly relaxed muscles.
  • Ataxic cerebral palsy causes problems with balance and coordination.

How is cerebral palsy diagnosed?

Diagnosis of CP can be done by taking a complete medical history, performing a physical exam that includes a detailed neurological exam and evaluating the symptoms.

How is cerebral palsy treated?

Cerebral palsy treatment may include assistive aids, medications, and surgery. 

Assistive aids

Assistive aids include:
  • eyeglasses
  • hearing aids
  • walking aids
  • body braces
  • wheelchairs

Surgery

Doctor may recommend for orthopedic surgery to relieve pain and improve mobility. It helps to release tight muscles and to correct bone abnormalities.

Other treatment

Other spastic cerebral palsy treatment includes:
  • speech therapy
  • physical therapy
  • occupational therapy
  • recreational therapy
  • psychotherapy
However, following certain preventive measures can help to minimize complications of CP. Get proper vaccination that can cause fetal brain damage and receive adequate prenatal care.

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