Cerebral palsy is a group of neurological disorders affecting somebody’s ability to move, maintain posture and remain balanced. In the United States, around one in 345 children are diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Medical negligence during the birth process causes a significant percentage of cerebral palsy cases.
There are various types of cerebral palsy, including:
- Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common type. It results from damage to the pyramidal tracts or motor cortex. Symptoms include jerking movements and tight muscles.
- Damage to the cerebellum causes ataxic cerebral palsy, which causes problems with motor control and movement.
- Cerebellum or basal ganglia damage causes Dyskenatic/Athetoid cerebral palsy could happen when the person suffers damage to the basal ganglia. Involuntary movements and fluctuating muscle tone characterize this cerebral palsy.
- Hypotonic cerebral palsy is a rare type. Cerebellum damage causes it, and some of the symptoms are poor mobility, excess flexibility, and floppy muscles.
- Brain damage in multiple areas causes mixed cerebral palsy. It can cause patients to have more than one type of cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy and its symptoms vary from case to case, and motor skills can worsen or improve over time depending on how you manage it. Several medical and other support options are available to help those with cerebral palsy lead fulfilling lives.
Diagnosing Cerebral Palsy
Because cerebral palsy can become more apparent over time, some children are only diagnosed months after birth. In some cases, where symptoms are mild, the diagnosis may be delayed for longer than a year.
If a doctor suspects cerebral palsy, they would typically evaluate the child and monitor growth and development. Part of the diagnosis may include a series of tests to rule out other possible causes for the symptoms, for example:
- Brain scans may reveal abnormal development.
- An MRI scan will produce radio waves and a magnetic field to identify abnormalities in the child’s brain.
- A cranial ultrasound that uses high-frequency sound waves can deliver images of the brain.
- An Electroencephalogram (EEG) is valuable if the child may have seizures.
Further tests could screen for metabolic or genetic problems, including blood tests. Later, the doctor may refer the child to a specialist trained in brain and nervous system conditions, such as a pediatric neurologist or developmental specialist.
Treating Cerebral Palsy
There is no cure for cerebral palsy and people with it may require lifelong medical care, including medication, therapies and even surgical procedures. The treatment and care options depend on the person’s specific symptoms and needs.
Medications can improve muscle function, treat pain and manage spasticity. Muscle or nerve injections every three months can treat the tightening of specific muscles. Muscle relaxant medications can help relax muscles and other medications can reduce drooling.
Physical and Occupational Therapy
Physical therapy and muscle training can help improve balance, strength, flexibility, mobility and motor development. Braces and other supportive devices could help some people with cerebral palsy to improve walking. For help with mobility, options include adaptive equipment like walkers and wheelchairs. Occupational therapy can help the person gain independence in daily activities.
Speech and Language Therapy
With help, people with cerebral palsy can learn to speak clearly or communicate with sign language or communication devices like voice synthesizers. This therapy can also help with eating and swallowing problems.
Surgery can sometimes help to loosen tight muscles or correct bone abnormalities. It could include orthopedic surgery or cutting nerve fibers to relax muscles and reduce pain.
Cerebral Palsy Guide
Cerebral palsy is a devastating diagnosis. Cerebral Palsy Guide is an organization dedicated to raising awareness and educating and helping families affected by the condition. If somebody you love has cerebral palsy, Cerebral Palsy Guide can help. It is the most in-depth resource available nationwide.
The organization’s helpful support team is ready to listen to your story, answer any questions, connect families to treatment and support specialists, and provide legal assistance.
The website is user-friendly and rich with new research, medical information, ideas for activities, cerebral palsy awareness events, and inspiring stories from others with the same challenges. The organization created the guide with parents and caregivers in mind.
The Cerebral Palsy Guide is simple to understand and concise, making it easier for parents and caregivers to find valuable information without becoming overwhelmed with all the information about the disorder. Staff members at the Cerebral Palsy Guide thoroughly research peer-reviewed articles and medical journals.
Because preventable medical mistakes often cause cerebral palsy during birth, it may be considered malpractice. The organization’s legal experts are ready to answer any questions and help families access financial compensation through a birth injury claim.
You can contact the Cerebral Palsy Guide here, where you can email the organization or chat with a legal representative online. Or, you can call them at (866) 756-5334