Cerebral palsy is a group of diseases in which there is a violation of motor functions and posture. This violation is due to conditions of cerebral brain injury or impaired brain formation. This disease is one of the most common causes of persistent disability in children. This disease occurs in about 2 cases in every thousand people.
Cerebral palsy causes reflex movements that a person cannot control and muscle thickening, affecting part or all of the body. These disorders can range from mild to severe. There may also be an intellectual disability, seizures, impaired vision, and hearing.
Accepting a diagnosis is sometimes a daunting task for a parent.
Reasons for cerebral palsy. It is the result of trauma or abnormalities in the development of the brain. In many cases, the exact cause of cerebral palsy is unknown.
- A possible cause of cerebral palsy during pregnancy or birth could be genetic problems, infections, or health problems in the mother or fetus during pregnancy. Complications associated with childbirth and delivery can also be a cause. Any of these problems can affect the development of the fetus, blood supply, and the provision of the fetus with the necessary nutrients that it receives through the blood. For example, systematic hypoglycemia can lead to the development of this disease.
- One of the possible causes of this deaseas may be prematurity associated with early birth (premature birth) and, accordingly, with underdevelopment and cerebral conditions. Babies born too early are at greater risk of bleeding into the brain (intraventricular bleeding).
Types of Cerebral Palsy
The type of cerebral palsy determines the child’s movement disorders.
Most patients have spastic cerebral palsy. Its presence can affect both all parts of the body and individual parts. For example, a child with spastic cerebral palsy may have symptoms mainly in one leg or half of the body. Most children usually try to adapt to motor impairments. Some patients may even live independently and work, needing only occasional assistance. In cases where there are disorders in both legs, patients require a wheelchair or other devices to compensate for motor functions.
Complete causes the most severe problems. Severe spastic cerebral palsy and choreoathetoid cerebral palsy are types of complete paralysis. Many of these patients cannot care for themselves due to motor and intellectual impairments and require constant outside care. Complications such as seizures and other long-term physical effects of this disease are difficult to predict until a child is 1 to 3 years old. But sometimes, such predictions are not possible until the child reaches school age, and in the process of learning, communicative intellectual and other abilities can be analyzed.
- The severity of mental impairment, if any, is a strong indicator of daily functioning. Slightly more than half of the patients who have this disease have some degree of intellectual weakness. Children with spastic quadriplegia usually have severe intellectual disabilities.
- Other medical conditions, such as hearing impairments or problems, often occur with this disease. Sometimes these disorders are noted immediately; in other cases, they are undetected until the child gets older.
Besides, just like people with normal physical development, people with this disease develop social and emotional problems throughout their lives. Because their physical defects exacerbate problems, cerebral palsy patients need the attention and understanding of others.
Most patients with this disease live to adulthood, but their life expectancy is somewhat shorter. Much depends on how severe the form of this disease is and the presence of complications. Some patients with this disease have the opportunity even to work, especially with the development of computer technology; such opportunities have increased significantly.
This disease is categorized according to the type of body movement and posture problems.
Spastic Cerebral Palsy
Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common type. A patient with spastic develops muscle stiffness in parts of the body that cannot relax. In the damaged joints, contractures occur, and the range of motion in them is sharply limited.
There are four types of spastic this disease, grouped according to how many limbs are involved.
- Hemiplegia: One arm and one leg on one side of the body or both legs (diplegia or paraplegia). They are the most common types of infantile spastic cerebral palsy.
- Monoplegia: Only one arm or leg is impaired.
- Quadriplegia: Both arms and legs are involved. Usually, in such cases, there is damage to the brain stem, and, accordingly, this is manifested by impaired swallowing. In newborns with quadriplegia, there may be violations of sucking, swallowing, weak crying; the body may be wadded or, on the contrary, tense. Often, when in contact with a child, hypertonicity of the trunk appears. The child may sleep a lot and not show interest in the environment.
- Triplegia: Either both arms and one leg or both legs and one arm are invoked.
Extrapyramidal Cerebral Palsy
Extrapyramidal forms of this disease include dyskinetic cerebral palsy and ataxic cerebral palsy.
- Dyskinetic cerebral palsy is associated with moderate to severe muscle tone. In some cases, there are uncontrollable jerking or involuntary slow movements. These movements most often involve the face and neck muscles, arms, legs, and sometimes the lower back. Relaxed muscles characterize the athetoid type (hyperkinetic) this disease during sleep with minor twitches and grimaces. With the involvement of the face and mouth muscles, there may be disturbances in eating, salivation, choking on food, and the appearance of inadequate facial expressions on the face.
- Ataxic cerebral palsy is the rarest type of this disease and affects the entire body. Pathological movements occur in the trunk, arms, legs.
The following problems manifest ataxic cerebral palsy:
- Body imbalance
- Violation of precise movements. The patient, for example, cannot hit the desired object with his hand or perform even simple movements (for example, bringing a cup to the mouth). Only one hand can reach the object; the other hand may shake when trying to move it. The patient is often unable to button clothing, write, or use scissors.
- Coordination of movements. A person with ataxic cerebral palsy may walk with too long strides or feet wide apart.
- Mixed cerebral palsy
- Total (complete) infantile affects the entire body to one degree or another. Complications of cerebral palsy and other health problems are most likely to develop when the entire body is involved, rather than isolated parts.
- What happens to the brain with cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a disease of the central nervous system, in which one (or several) parts of the brain are damaged, as a result of which non-progressive disorders of motor and muscle activity, coordination of movements, functions of vision, hearing, as well as speech and psyche, develop.
- What does cerebral palsy mean?
Cerebral palsy is a group of brain diseases arising from its underdevelopment or damage during pregnancy or childbirth and manifested by movement disorders, speech, and mental disorders.