Cerebral Palsy refers to a group of neurological conditions that affects motor skills, movement and muscle tone. The condition leads to sight, hearing and learning difficulties. Cerebral Palsy in children is one of the most common forms of motor skills disability, affecting roughly 2 to 3 children out of every 1000 children. Speech and language disorder is very common among people with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy itself isn’t progressive. However, the changes do change over time. Growth spurts, dynamic levels of activity and ill health can even modify the consequences.
Some of the disorders associated with cerebral palsy include intellectual disabilities, seizures, muscle contractures, eye muscle imbalance, abnormal gait, communication disorders, sleep disorders, malnutrition, osteoporosis and anxiety and depression.
The main cause of cerebral palsy is believed to be damage to the fetal or infant brain before or during birth and or anytime before 5 years of age. This happens when the cerebrum region of the brain gets damaged owing to varied reasons like; infection, maternal health problems, genetic disorder, mutations, fetal stroke, breech births, complicated labor and delivery or basically any other heath issues that might prevent the proper development of the fetal brain.
Premature babies especially those weighing less than 3.3 pounds are more susceptible to cerebral palsy. Besides that any kind of brain damage during infancy can also result in cerebral palsy. Brain damage in infants could be due to injury, lead poisoning, bacterial meningitis and poor blood flow to the brain.
Cerebral palsy types depend upon the location of the movement disorder. There are four different types of cerebral palsy namely;
Besides the above type of cerebral palsy, this neurological condition is further classified according to the location of the muscle spasticity stemming from the damage to the brain, like – Monoplegia, Paraplegia, Hemiplegia and Quadriplegia.
As kids with cerebral palsy grow into adults they transition to adults with cerebral palsy. It is during this time that many effects of the condition start to manifest themselves in a more pronounced manner. However, many adults with cerebral palsy are able to live a full life depending upon the severity of the neurological condition. Cerebral Palsy in adults is not only difficult for the parents but also for the adult patient, as they are faced with varied challenges like; premature aging, walking and swallowing disorders, post – impairment syndrome and mental health conditions.
It is essential to get proper health care as part of cerebral palsy treatment for adults, for the better management of the symptoms and a better quality of life.
The symptoms for Cerebral Palsy vary from children to children and also depend upon the severity of the brain injury. Some of the symptoms of cerebral palsy are highly noticeable, while others pass unnoticed.
Some of the common cerebral palsy symptoms are;
A cerebral palsy specialist is best equipped to diagnose the condition. The doctor might recommend various imaging tests to make the final diagnosis, like;
As per the cerebral palsy treatment guidelines, the cerebral palsy treatment program is twofold – treatment early in life and lifelong management. It is important to remember there is currently no cure for cerebral palsy. However, the symptoms can be better managed through various types of cerebral palsy therapy, braces, medication and surgery to allow a fuller life depending upon the severity of the condition. The various kinds of specialists and therapy involved with cerebral palsy are Physiotherapists, Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Pediatricians among others.
Cerebral palsy treatment in India has improved by leaps and bounds with the availability of more specialized healthcare and well trained specialists Physiotherapy plays a major role in cerebral palsy treatment. This cerebral palsy therapy has been known to help with muscle stiffness, relieving pain and the improvement in mobility through varied specialized exercises. The main aim of physiotherapy in cerebral palsy is to help the child with cerebral palsy achieve full fitness and independence as per their potential.
Since most cases of cerebral palsy are related to fetal brain damage, some of the few precautions that can be undertaken by expecting mothers are as follows;
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