Cerebral palsy is a category of disorders that affect muscle tone or posture. It’s triggered by damage that happens to the infant’s brain as it grows mostly before birth. In this blog we’ll know in detail about the Symptoms, Causes, and Prevention of Cerebral palsy .
During infancy or preschool years signs and symptoms emerge. Typically, Cerebral palsy trigger impair mobility associated with abnormal reflexes, floppiness or limb and trunk stiffness, abnormal posture, repetitive mobility, erratic walking or a combination of these.
People with cerebral paralysis can have swallowing issues, and usually have eye muscle dysfunction, where the eyes do not focus on the same thing. They may also have limited range of motion due to muscle tension at various joints in their bodies.
The effects of cerebral palsy on function vary greatly. Some people affected may go walking; others require help. Some individuals possess normal or nearly average intelligence, while some have mental handicaps. May, also have autism, blindness, or deafness.
Symptoms ofCerebral Palsy
Signs and signs can be highly varied. Cerebral palsy associated movement and coordination disorders include:
- Changes in muscle tone, like being either too steep or too soft
- Stiff muscles with excessive reflexes (spasticity)
- Stiff muscles with common reflexes (rigidity)
- Lack of balance and muscle coordination (ataxia)
- Tremors or involuntary movements
- Sluggish, writhing movements
- Delays in reaching milestones in motor skills, like raising on arms, sitting up or crawling
- Using one side of the body, like reaching with one hand or dragging the leg while crawling
- Problems in walking, like walking on the toes, a crouched gait, a scissors-like gait with knees crossing, a wide gait or an asymmetrical gait
- Constant drooling or problems with swallowing
- Difficulty with sucking or eating
- Delays in speech development or difficulty speaking
- Learning difficulties
- Problems with fine motor skills, like buttoning clothing or picking up utensils
Cerebral palsy may affect the whole body or may be confined to one limb or one side of the body in particular. The brain disease that causes cerebral palsy doesn’t change with time, and the symptoms usually don’t get worse with age.
However, certain signs may become more or less noticeable as the child gets older. And muscle shortening and muscle stiffness can get worse if not vigorously treated.
Anomalies of the brain associated with cerebral paralysis may also lead to other neurological disorders including:
- Difficulty seeing and hearing
- Intellectual disabilities
- Abnormal touch or pain perceptions
- Oral diseases
- Mental health conditions
- Urinary incontinence
When to see a doctor
A prompt diagnosis of a movement disorder or delays in your child’s development is critical. If you have questions about periods of loss of sensory awareness or irregular body movements, irregular muscle tone, poor coordination, swallowing problems, eye muscle imbalance or other developmental issues, see your child’s doctor.
Causes of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is caused by an abnormality or brain developmental disturbance, most often before a child is born. There are also instances where the cause is not understood. Factors which could lead to brain development problems include:
- Gene mutations which contribute to abnormal development
- Maternal infections which impact the developing fetus
- Fetal stroke, loss of blood flow to the developing brain
- Bleeding into the brain in the womb or as a newborn
- Infant infections which cause inflammation in or around the brain
- Oxygen deficiency in the brain associated with difficult labour or childbirth, while birth-related asphyxia is a much less common cause than traditionally thought
Muscle weakness, muscle spasticity, and issues with coordination can lead to a variety of complications during childhood or adulthood including:
Contracture: Contracture is the shortening of muscle tissue due to excessive contraction of muscles (spasticity). Contracture can prevent bone growth, bend the bones and cause joint deformities, dislocation or partial dislocation.
Premature ageing: Some type of premature ageing will affect most people with cerebral palsy in their 40s because of the strain the condition puts on their bodies.
Malnutrition: Swallowing or feeding problems may lead to making difficult for anyone who has cerebral palsy, especially a child, to get enough nutrition. This can weaken bones and hinder growth. Some kids require a feed tube to get enough nutrition.
Mental health conditions: People with cerebral palsy may have disorders of mental health condition, like depression. Social isolation and disability coping challenges may contribute to depression.
Heart and lung disease: People with cerebral palsy can develop heart and lung disease, as well as respiratory disorders.
Osteoarthritis: Pressure on joints or abnormal alignment of joints from muscle spasticity can result in the early onset of this painful degenerative bone disease.
Osteopenia: Fractures due to low bone density (osteopenia) can stem from several common factors such as lack of mobility, nutritional shortcomings and anti-epileptic drug use.
Most cerebral palsy cases can’t be avoided, but chances can be lessened. If you are pregnant or are about to become pregnant, you should take these steps to keep the pregnancy complications stable and mitigate them:
Make sure you’re vaccinated: Getting vaccinated against diseases such as rubella, preferably before getting pregnant, might prevent an infection that could cause fetal brain damage.
Take care of yourself: The healthier you are heading into a pregnancy, the less likely you’ll be to develop an infection that results in cerebral palsy.
Receive timely and continuing prenatal treatment: Frequent doctor visits during your pregnancy are a safe way to reduce the health threats to you and your unborn child. Daily consultation with your doctor will help avoid premature birth, low birth weight and infections.
Practice good child safety: Prevent head injuries by having a car seat, a bicycle helmet, safety rails on the beds and good supervision for your infant.
Stop alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs: Which has linked with risk of cerebral palsy?