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Details of Awareness, Treatments, Causes & Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral refers to the brain and Palsy refers to poor muscle control or weakness. Cerebral Palsy (CP) is not a disease, but a term used to describe a group of disorders resulting from a defect to one or more areas of the brain that occur pre birth or in infancy. CP is a non progressive condition as the brain damage is a one off occurrence and though the brain cells affected will not be repaired other brain cells will continue to develop and work. A sufferers intelligence is therefore usually not diminished by the condition.

What are the Symptoms of CP?

Stiffness of movement, muscle weakness, difficulty with balance, slowness and shakiness are common symptoms of CP. Some sufferers only experience mild symptoms in one limb, while others will be severely disabled with their whole body affected. The four types of CP are;

  • Spastic Cerebral Palsy
  • Athetoid (Dyskinetic) cerebral palsy
  • Ataxic cerebral palsy
  • Mixed cerebral palsy

What are the Treatments available to CP Sufferers?

There is currently no cure for CP. The main treatment is physical therapy to strengthen muscle groups and develop motor skills. Therapeutic electrical stimulation (TES) can be administered to patients while they sleep to increase muscle fibre, but patients have been found to require physical therapy in conjunction with using a TES machine to benefit from it. Therapy sessions in warm water and horseback riding are also used by sufferers, as are Botox injections to freeze the muscles affected by spastic movement.

Cerebral Palsy for Parents:

If parents are faced with the prospect of having a child with cerebral palsy on their hands, the most frequently asked questions would be how they are going to help their deal with the disorder and what the child's future would be like. There are many challenges that parents would have to face with they have a child with cerebral palsy. Most of the challenges would be not only emotional but also physically demanding. Parents need to realize that they have first accept the fact that their child has cerebral palsy and how they are going to tackle it together so that the child's life is not one which is a harrowing experience.

Cerebral Palsy Awareness & Causes:

Some of the causes of cerebral palsy are attributed to this disorder, are infection during the pregnancy term, disease like jaundice affecting the mother, kidney and urinary tract infections. If there is shortage of oxygen to the baby's brain during birth or injury to the baby's brain during delivery, or even bleeding in the infant's brain just after delivery then also cerebral palsy can occur in the child. Another factor that causes cerebral palsy in a child is Rh incompatibility in the parents. Consumption of alcohol and drugs by the mother during pregnancy can severely affect the brain development in a child during pregnancy and cause cerebral palsy.

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