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Cerebral Palsy (CP)
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a group of disorders associated with impaired movement and muscle coordination. It largely can be seen in children. Motor difficulties in children are most frequently caused by cerebral palsy.
What is Cerebral Palsy (CP)?
The adjective “cerebral” denotes a connection to the brain and “palsy” is a medical term that means weakness or issues with movement. Motor difficulties in children are most frequently caused by cerebral palsy. It affects 1 to 4 out of every 1,000 kids worldwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although most cerebral palsy patients are affected from birth, others may not exhibit symptoms for months or even years. Typically, symptoms start to show up a few months after the birth.
Types of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy can be of different types depending on the brain area that is affected –
- Spastic Cerebral Palsy - The most prevalent kind of cerebral palsy, which affects around 80% of those who have it, is spastic cerebral Palsy. It creates tense muscles and heightened reflexes, causing difficult to walk. Many children with spastic cerebral palsy exhibit aberrant walking patterns, such as inadvertent knee crossing or scissor-like leg motions. Paralysis and muscle wasting may also be present.
- Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy - Dyskinetic cerebral palsy patients have problems regulating their motions. Unusual, uncontrollable motions of the arms, legs, and hands are symptoms of the illness. Dyskinetic cerebral Palsy can occasionally also have an impact on the tongue and face. The motions might be fast and swift or languid and writhing. Due to the motions, the affected individual may find it challenging to sit, walk, swallow, or talk.
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy - The least prevalent kind of cerebral Palsy is ataxic. Voluntary muscular movements in people with ataxic cerebral Palsy can seem clumsy, awkward, or jerky. They could struggle to walk and use fine motor skills, including writing and gripping items. Reduced muscular tone and excessive muscle relaxation are symptoms of hypotonic cerebral Palsy. The limbs move incredibly fluidly and have a rag doll-like appearance.
- Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy - Babies with this kind of cerebral Palsy have limited head control and may have respiratory difficulties. Due to their weakening muscles, as they age, people can find it difficult to sit up straight.
Some children have a mix of the symptoms associated with various forms of cerebral palsy, referred to as mixed cerebral Palsy.
Cerebral Palsy Symptoms
Ranging from moderate to severe, cerebral palsy symptoms might differ from person to person. Some people with cerebral palsy may find it challenging to sit and walk, and others with cerebral palsy may struggle to hold items in their hands.
As a kid matures and refines their motor abilities, the condition's consequences may become more or less evident or restrictive. Additionally, they differ according to the region of the brain that was impacted. Some of the more prevalent signs include:
- Delays in achieving motor skill milestones.
- Spasticity, or stiff muscles and exaggerated reflexes.
- Ataxia, or a lack of muscle coordination.
- Uncontrollable shakes or motions.
- Neurological conditions, including seizures, intellectual difficulties. And
- Blindness delays speech development and causes trouble speaking, heavy drooling, and swallowing problems favoring one side of the body.
Causes of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy can be brought on by abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain. The area of the brain that regulates posture, coordination, and movement is often damaged in CP. This brain injury happens most often before birth, although it can also happen during delivery or the first few years of life. Asphyxia neonatorum, or a lack of oxygen to the brain during labor and delivery, head injuries, a fall, or child abuse, intracranial hemorrhage, or bleeding into the brain, brain infections like encephalitis and meningitis, infections acquired in the womb-like German measles (rubella), and herpes simplex, severe jaundice in the newborn, and gene mutations that cause abnormal brain development are other potential causes.
Certain predisposing factors increase newborns' risk of getting diagnosed with cerebral palsy. These include :
- Congenital disabilities or premature delivery.
- Low birth weight.
- A poor Apgar score, which measures a baby's physical condition at delivery.
- Delivery of the baby in breech position, in which the baby's feet or buttocks emerge first. And
- Rh incompatibility, in which the expectant parent's blood is incompatible; Rh type is incompatible with their unborn child's blood Rh type exposure of the expectant parents to hazardous chemicals, such as illicit drugs or pharmaceuticals, or having twins or triplets.
Following are some of the major ways of treatment :
Medications : Children with cerebral palsy may benefit from medications to manage symptoms including muscular spasms, uncontrolled limb movements, and seizures. The most often recommended drugs for cerebral palsy include baclofen, anticonvulsants, and botox.
Surgery : It can be used to assist people with CP regain function, reduce muscular stiffness, and restore flexibility when drugs are ineffective. It is crucial to remember that surgery has risks and may not be an effective treatment for all children with cerebral palsy.
Therapies : Treatments including medicine, surgery, and assistive technology are frequently coupled with therapy to increase the child's benefit. Doctors create a unique treatment plan after consulting with families to ascertain their child's medical objectives.
The brain damage in CP does not worsen with time because it is not a progressive condition, although the severity of the symptoms might increase. If a kid with the disease receives much attention, they may progress during that time, but orthopedic surgery may be necessary if their bones and muscles are more developed. Youngsters with Cerebral Palsy (CP) may not reach their full intellectual potential until they begin school. Despite having a normal IQ, people with CP are more likely to suffer learning difficulties. It is crucial not to undervalue a person with CP's talents and to offer them every chance to develop. However, regardless of how severe a person's physical handicap, that person's ability to live independently frequently rests largely on that person's ability to manage the practical reality of his or her life on their own.
- Martin Bax, Murray Goldstein, and at al. Proposed definition and classification of cerebral palsy, April 2005. (URL -https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/developmental-medicine-and-child-neurology/article/abs/proposed-definition-and-classification-of-cerebral-palsy-april-2005/E74085EC032F818F14A5A1C1C2A30CD0 )
- Koen Anseeuw. A report: the definition and classification of cerebral palsy April 2006.
- Karin B. Nelson; Jonas H. Ellenberg, Children Who ‘Outgrew’ Cerebral Palsy. (URL - https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.69.5.529)
- W. L. Minear. SPECIAL ARTICLE: A CLASSIFICATION OF CEREBRAL PALSY. (URL -https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article-abstract/18/5/841/74368/SPECIAL-ARTICLE-A-CLASSIFICATION-OF-CEREBRAL-PALSY )
- Dinah S Reddihough Kevin J Collins. The epidemiology and causes of cerebral palsy (URL - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0004951414601835)
- Karin B. Nelso and Jonas H. Ellenberg. Antecedents of Cerebral Palsy. (URL - https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM198607103150202)