What Is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is a term that is used to describe a loss of motor function due to brain damage. It is mainly diagnosed in young children who experience delays in development and growth starting from birth. Cerebral Palsy affects the body's movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture, and balance which tends to leave one with poor ability to fully develop and grow.
- low muscle tone (body is very relaxed or floppy)
- poor control of reflexes and posture
- delayed development
- delay of speech
- muscle spasms (stiffness in muscles)
- feeding or swallowing difficulties
- impairment of motor functions
Causes of Cerebral Palsy
There is no single cause for Cerebral Palsy patients. Cerebral Palsy is actually a blanket term for loss or impairment of motor functions in the body. what actually causes Cerebral Palsy is a combination of events that occur before, during, or after birth that causes injury to a baby's developing brain.
There is actually no way to totally prevent or cure cerebral palsy but there are different ways to manage and maximize the potential your child has to offer.
Medication: some doctors may prescribe medication to help aid in some of the movement issues cerebral palsy patients have. Medications such as diazepam can be taken orally. Other medicines such as baclofen can be injected or delivered through a surgically implanted pump.
Surgery: a Selective Dorsal Rizotomy is a procedure preformed by a neurosurgeon in only a small percentage of children to help permanently reduce spasticity in their legs.
Physical Therapy: physical therapy is beneficial to CP patients because it develops coordination, builds strength, improves balance, maintains flexibility, optimizes physical function levels, and ultimately maximizes independence levels.
Personal Account: Katherine's Story