Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a neurological disorder that involves permanent damage of the nervous system before birth or upon birth. Cerebral palsy may also involve disorders of muscle tone, posture and movement due to the abnormal development of an immature brain.
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy may be observable immediately after birth. The following are the most common signs and symptoms of CP and may be similar to alternative conditions.
- Impaired movement and paralysis
- Exaggerated Reflexes
- Rigidity of Extremities
- Abnormal posture
- Involuntary Movements
- Numbness and burning sensation (temporary)
Diagnosing individuals with Cerebral Palsy will focus on the brain and its function. The diagnosis will also involve evaluating all symptoms to rule out other possible conditions, such as Erb’s Palsy. Learn more about the Diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy.
Treatment interventions for CP likely involve long term care with various types of medical professionals. Since Cerebral palsy involves significant impairment, a multi-disciplinary approach of the disease is imperative. This will involve many professionals, such as Pediatrician, Neurosurgeon, Physiatrist, Orthopedist, Occupational Therapist, Developmental Therapist, Mental Health Provider, Social Worker and Special Education Teacher.
Medications – The aim of the medications is to control the spastic effects of CP. For localized contractions, botulinum toxin may afford localized relaxation. Central drugs like Diazepam and Dantrolene may cause generalized flaccidity for CP patients with generalized spastic movements.
Surgical and Orthopedic – Children with severe contractures may have contractures surgically released. Deformities and short tendons may be corrected surgically. Braces and appliances may be used to help individuals with Cerebral Palsy.
Nerve Surgery – Neurosurgeons may perform a nerve graft and replace damaged nerves with a functional nerve harvested from the other less important organs of the body, if necessary. Select neurosurgeons focus on advanced micro-surgical approaches.
Living with Cerebral Palsy
Living with Cerebral Palsy requires coping skills to accept the varying degrees of incapacitation and the fact that the condition may complicate during adulthood with or without treatment. Contractures are common and may recur with time, even following surgical treatment. Rehabilitation in various forms offers support for the possibility of lifestyle enhancement throughout life, depending upon the nature of the disabilities over time.
It is important to recognize that medications and medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition. Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.