Understanding Cerebral Palsy

Posted by on Feb 15, 2015 in Swavalamban Blog

Cerebral Palsy is a group of disorders that affect a persons’ ability to move and maintain balance and posture.”Cerebral” refers to the brain and “palsy” refers to the muscle weakness and poor control.Cerebral Palsy or CP is an umbrella like term which describes a group of chronic disorders impairing control of movement in first few years of life which generally do no worsen over the time.
These disorders are caused by faulty development or damage to motor areas of brain disrupting the brain’s ability to control posture and movement.
CP occurs in about 1 in 500 live births with only 60% of them having an identifiable cause.

Causes of CP:
The causes are braodly divided into 3 categories namely
1) Pre-natal
2) Peri-natal
3) Post-natal
along with other associated maternal risk factors like maternal toxemia,hypothyroidism, etc.

Classification of CP
CP is a disorder which can be classified according to the site, lesion and extent of the damaged it caused to the brain for example based on topographical distribution i.e. the parts of body affected it is divided into monoplegia,diplegia,hemiplegia,paraplegia,quadriplegia,and double hemiparesis.

Diagnosing CP
Based on the history taking,examination for growth and developmental milestones appropriate to child’s age, the results are interpreted.

Differential Diagnosis
It is also important to look out for other disorders which also coincides with presenting signs and symptoms similar to CP.

Clinical Manifestation
Child shows abnormal muscle tone,imbalance of agonist and antagonist, deficit in righting and equilibrium reactions,difficulty in sequencing,timing,and controlling muscle response.
Disorders associated with CP includes seizure disorder,visual and auditory problems, feeding difficulties,poor jaw control, speech disorders,and issues related with intelligence
Child also presents with limb and spinal deformities,torsions,subluxation of joints, scissoring gait pattern.


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