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Cerebral Palsy

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by

Jenna Brown

on 1 October 2012

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Transcript of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy A group of brain disorders affecting motor activity What is Cerebral Palsy? Cerebral Palsy is the term given for a group of brain disorders that affect muscle movement, coordination, and posture. There is nothing wrong with the muscles or nerves in CP patients.These disorders may arise from either damage to a certain area of the brain or from abnormal development of the brain while in utero. Oftentimes the exact cause is uknown.

Cerebral palsy is usually caused by injury to a baby's brain before birth, during birth, or during the first few years after birth.

There is no cure for Cerebral palsy, as the brain damage is irreversible. Cerebral palsy is not progressive, so it does not get worse over time. Types of Cerebral Palsy Spastic cerebral palsy accounts for about 70-80% of cases; dyskinetic (athetoid and ataxic) account for 10-20% and 5-10%, respectively; and there are also cases where two or more types of cerebral palsy are mixed. Risk Factors Premature babies have a higher chance of developing cerebral palsy.
Low birth weight babies
Brain damage during infancy or childhood due to meningitis, malnutrition, shaken baby syndrome, improper car seat usage during a car accident, etc. Signs and Symptoms Because the motor areas of the brain are affected, movement is largely hindered. Depending on the type of cerebral palsy, the muscles can be very stiff, as in spastic CP, or very relaxed and 'floppy.' Movements are often uncoordinated and not within the control of the patient.

Many cerebral palsy sufferers have a normal mental capacity, but are not able to adequately express themselves, as speech and hearing can be affected.

Around 1/3 of people who suffer from CP have seizures. Many have issues with swallowing and vision. Skeletal deformities and joint conractures also occur. Diagnosing Cerebral Palsy There is not one definitive test for cerebral palsy. Rather, the child goes through many evaluations, tests, and the medical history and signs are thoroughly examined.

The tests performed may include ultrasound of the brain, CT scan of the brain, MRI of the brain, and/or MRI or the spinal cord.

Premature babies are monitored very closely immediately following birth, as they have a much higher risk to developing CP as well as many other health issues, so CP is often caught early and treatment started right away. Treatment Though cerebral palsy has no cure, early intervention with ongoing treatment can greatly improve the quality of life for CP sufferers.

Treatment may include therapies for speech, learning, movement, hearing, and social and emotional development.

Medical treatment may include medication for seizures, muscle spasticity and abnormal movements; special equipment, including walkers, braces, wheelchairs, etc; and also various surgical procedures to improve quality of life for the patient. For example, selective dorsal rhizotomy for spastic CP, which is the cutting of dorsal nerves (they transmit sensations from the muscle to the spinal cord) Prognosis Many people with cerebral palsy are able to live almost normal lives with typical life expectancies. Only 25% of sufferers are so disabled that they cannot walk and require extensive care.

The more severe the case of cerebral palsy, the more severe the complications (mental retardation, seizures, etc).

Many will need the daily support of others for their activities of daily living, but it may be only simple things that they need help with. Sources http://www.emedicinehealth.com/cerebral_palsy/article_em.htm
http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/brain/cerebral_palsy.html#
http://www.mychildwithoutlimits.org/?page=cerebral-palsy
http://www.stlouischildrens.org/our-services/center-cerebral-palsy-spasticity/about-selective-dorsal-rhizotomy-sdr
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