Cerebral palsy

Below you will find more information about Cerebral palsy from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Cerebral palsy it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Cerebral palsy and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Cerebral palsy comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Cerebral palsy is a group of diseases that are non-progressive and non-contagious. The word cerebral refers to the cerebrum, and palsy means disorder of movement. Cerebral palsy is characterized by damaged motor control centers in the brains of young children. The brain damage that occurs does not worsen over time, although orthopedic difficulties may accompany the condition. There are 4 common classifications of cerebral palsy according to the damaged area of the brain. These are spastic, athetoid/dyskinetic, ataxic, and mixed. Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common type, and this type of cerebral palsy affects the motor cortex, corticospinal tract, or pyramidal tract, which leads to neuromuscular conditions. Patients with this type of CP also are hypertonic. Athetoid or dyskinetic type of CP have mixed muscle tone, and have either hypertonia or hypotonia. Ataxia, the least most common type of cerebral palsy, is characterized by tremors, hypotonia, and possibly some difficulties with motor skills.

Treatment

No treatment is available for cerebral palsy, but there are therapy options that can help patients with cerebral palsy function as best as he can. Early diagnosis is necessary in providing adequate therapy for those with the condition, so that they can learn and adapt to developmental difficulties at a faster pace. Treatment is usually composed of various types of therapy: physical, occupational, and speech; medications for seizures, pain, and muscle spasms, surgery for any anatomical deficiencies or correcting muscles, communication aids, and walking devices.

Causes

The exact cause of cerebral palsy is still unknown, although there are known contributing factors. The most common contributing factor is premature birth, because the baby's organs are not fully developed and this puts them at larger risk for brain injury and asphyxia. Other contributing factors are hypoxia of the brain, birth trauma, and asphyxia. Certain conditions in the mother can contribute to her child having cerebral palsy, such as if she has strep infections, trauma, central nervous system infections, consecutive hematoma, multiple birth, and placenta abruptio. Developmental milestones and motor skills are taken into account by the physician when diagnosing a child who is suspected of having cerebral palsy. If a child shows a delay in motor skills, accompanied by physical findings such as abnormal muscle tone, other abnormal behavior in movements and reflexes. By the time a child reaches 18 months of age, it would be easier to diagnose and confirm if they do or do not have the disease.

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