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Cerebral Palsy - Causes and Treatment Options


Cerebral Palsy - Causes and Treatment Options By Joseph Devine

 

 

Cerebral Palsy is the name given to a group of disorders that result in physical disability. It is a 'non-progressive' disorder, which means that a person who has cerebral palsy (or CP) will not continue to get worse throughout their lifetime. However, there is no cure for the initial damage CP has on the individual.


 Cerebral Palsy is the name given to a group of disorders that result in physical disability. It is a 'non-progressive' disorder, which means that a person who has cerebral palsy (or CP) will not continue to get worse throughout their lifetime. However, there is no cure for the initial damage CP has on the individual.

Cerebral Palsy is a condition affecting the brain, specifically, the cerebrum, and affects the movement of the affected individual by damaging the 'motor control centers' of the brain. Typically, this damage occurs during pregnancy, childbirth, or in the first few years following childbirth (until around age three).

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Although extensive research has been done over the years, the cause of many cerebral palsy cases is unknown. However, doctors and researchers have been able to identify several contributing factors.

Some factors that contribute to CP in infants and children include

· Asphyxia

· Hypoxia of the brain

· Premature birth

· Central nervous infections

· Infection in the mother before and during the birthing process

· Multiple births

In many instances, these conditions manifest together, as one of these situations can increase the likelihood of another. For example, studies estimate that between 40% and 50% of children who develop cerebral palsy were born prematurely. Because premature children do not have fully formed organs, they are more vulnerable to suffer from hypoxic injury to the brain-a contributing cause of CP.

Recently, researchers have stated that the leading cause of cerebral palsy in children is most likely infection in the mother. Studies show that infection can triple the chances of the child developing CP because cytokines, which are produced as a response to infection in the mother, can be toxic for the fetal brain.

Treatment Options

While there is no known cure for cerebral palsy, there are treatment options available that can help affected individuals function effectively. As with most illnesses and ailments, the earlier treatment begins, the greater the individuals' recovery should be. Most often, treatment will include one or more of the following

· Physical therapy

· Occupational therapy

· Speech therapy

· Medication

· Hyperbaric oxygen

· Botox (to relax muscles)

· Surgery

· Braces, or other orthotic devices

· Communication aids

Interestingly, massage therapy and participation in hatha yoga have also been used in recent years, as massage therapy relaxes tense muscles and hatha yoga promotes healthy deep breathing (which can prevent lung infection). However, more research is necessary to determine the effectiveness of these treatment options in CP patients.

 

Article Provided by Birth Injury Lawyers

 

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