Types, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders which affects the posture, texture and movements of various parts and muscles of the body. Cerebral is related to the brain and palsy means problem or weakness in muscles. Its symptoms usually appear in very young children but in some cases its symptoms are also seen in young and old people due to brain injury or accident. The disease mainly affects the cerebral motor cortex (a part of the brain). Since the cerebra is that part of the brain, which directs the movement of the muscles, dysfunction in it leads to problems in transmitting the signal to the muscles.
Types of Cerebral Palsy
There are several types of cerebral palsy. Some of the main types of them are as follows-
Spastic cerebral palsy-
This is a common type of cerebral palsy. This causes problems in muscle tone, posture and movements. Sometimes spastic cerebral palsy affects only one side of the body. In most cases, it can affect the arms and legs, trunk and face, or both.
Dyskinetic cerebral palsy-
In this type of cerebral palsy, there is a problem with controlling the movement of the arms and legs due to which it becomes difficult for a person to sit and walk.
Ataxic cerebral palsy-
In this type of cerebral palsy, a person has trouble with balance and coordination.
Mixed Cerebral Palsy-
Symptoms of more than one type of cerebral palsy are seen in the patient affected by this.
Causes of Cerebral Palsy
The main cause of cerebral palsy is abnormal development or damage to the developing brain. Some of the circumstances are as follows:
- Failure of the cerebral motor cortex to develop normally during fetal development.
- Injury to the baby's brain before or after birth.
- Any type of infection in the brain.
- Poor circulation of blood in the brain.
- Jaundice in newborns.
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
- Lack of mental health.
- Weakness in arms and legs.
- Delayed learning to sit, roll over, and walk.
- Frequent drooling of saliva from the mouth.
- Absence of incontinence (frequent urine leakage).
- Trembling in the hands, feet or soles.
- Difficulty swallowing or speaking.
- Loss of ability to think or understand.
- Making involuntary jerky movements.
- Frequent seizures (epilepsy).
- Feeling difficulty in walking or getting up.
Risk factors for cerebral palsy
Mother's medical conditions-
If a woman has thyroid problems, intellectual disability or any other serious problem during pregnancy, the child is at high risk of cerebral palsy.
Infection during pregnancy-
Infection causes an increase in proteins called cytokines in a person's body. It spreads to the brain and blood of the baby during pregnancy. Normally these proteins cause inflammation in the brain. This can cause brain damage in the child. As a result, babies are at higher risk of cerebral palsy after birth.
Not getting vaccinated-
The risk of brain infection is high if the baby is not given the necessary vaccinations immediately after birth which may lead to cerebral palsy.
Preterm and low birth weight-
If a child is born prematurely or has low birth weight, such children are at higher risk of having cerebral palsy.
Birth of more than one child-
Twins or triplets are more likely to have this problem.
If someone gets treated for infertility and later on gives birth to a child, the newborn are more likely to have this problem.
Diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy
If the doctor notices one or more signs of cerebral palsy, he or she suggests examining the child for symptoms immediately. First of all, the doctor takes information about all the previous medical treatment of your child. After that, he does a physical examination. To determine the condition of the brain and nervous system, he advises to contact the concerned doctor. Apart from this, some tests are also advised to find out the possible reasons, which are as follows:
1. Brain scan
Using imaging technology, doctors locate areas of damage or abnormal growth in the brain. This includes the following tests:
MRI is done to detect any kind of lesion or abnormality in the brain of children. This technique is more commonly used for cerebral palsy.
Cranial ultrasound is an important initial examination of the brain.
CT scan is done to detect abnormalities in the brain of children.
If the child has epilepsy or repeated seizures. In this situation, the doctor examines epilepsy through EEG because cerebral palsy is more prone to seizures.
3. Blood test
To confirm other diseases in the children's body, the doctor advises a blood test. With this, blood related diseases like blood clotting etc. are detected to curb the risk of strokes.
Treatment of Cerebral Palsy
Once this problem is confirmed, its treatment should be started immediately. Some of the suitable treatments to improve the life of the child or patient suffering from it include the following:
- Certain types of devices.
- Physical, occupational, recreational and speech therapy.
Prevention from Cerebral Palsy
- Vaccinate pregnant women at the right time so that infection in unborn children can be prevented.
- Take special care of small babies or children so that they do not get any kind of injury on their head.
- Get your health checked regularly during pregnancy.
- Wash your hands regularly so that the unborn baby does not get any kind of infection.
- Always wear helmets for yourself and your children while driving.
- Avoid shaking, dropping and hitting children excessively.
- Never leave children alone in any part of the house or in the bathtub. Always keep him under someone's supervision.