Have you ever heard a family member talk about your first step or the first word you spoke? For kids with cerebral palsy, called CP for short, taking a first step or saying a first word is not as easy. That's because CP is a condition that can affect the things that kids do every day.
Some kids with CP use wheelchairs and others walk with the help of crutches or braces. In some cases, a kid's speech may be affected or the person might not be able to speak at all.
Cerebral palsy (say: seh-ree-brel pawl-zee) is a condition that affects thousands of babies and children each year. It is not contagious, which means you can't catch it from anyone who has it. The word cerebral means having to do with the brain. The word palsy means a weakness or problem in the way a person moves or positions his or her body.
A kid with CP has trouble controlling the muscles of the body. Normally, the brain tells the rest of the body exactly what to do and when to do it. But because CP affects the brain, depending on what part of the brain is affected, a kid might not be able to walk, talk, eat, or play the way most kids do.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF CEREBRAL PALSY
Athetoid CP affects a kid's ability to control the muscles of the body. This means that the arms or legs that are affected by athetoid CP may flutter and move suddenly. A kid with ataxic CP has problems with balance and coordination.
A kid with CP can have a mild case or a more severe case — it really depends on how much of the brain is affected and which parts of the body that section of the brain controls. If both arms and both legs are affected, a kid might need to use a wheelchair. If only the legs are affected, a kid might walk in an unsteady way or have to wear braces or use crutches. If the part of the brain that controls speech is affected, a kid with CP might have trouble talking clearly. Another kid with CP might not be able to speak at all.
No one knows for sure what causes most cases of cerebral palsy. For some babies, injuries to the brain during pregnancy or soon after birth may cause CP. Children most at risk of developing CP are small, premature babies (babies who are born many weeks before they were supposed to be born) and babies who need to be on a ventilator (a machine to help with breathing) for several weeks or longer. But for most kids with CP, the problem in the brain occurs before birth and doctors don't know why.
Spastic cerebral palsy. In this form of cerebral palsy, which affects 70 to 80 percent of patients, the muscles are stiffly and permanently contracted. Doctors will often describe which type of spastic cerebral palsy a patient has based on which limbs are affected, i.e spastic diplegia (both legs) or left hemi-paresis (the left side of the body). The names given to these types combine a Latin description of affected limbs with the term plegia or paresis, meaning paralyzed or weak. In some cases, spastic cerebral palsy follows a period of poor muscle tone (hypotonia) in the young infant.
Athetoid, or dyskinetic cerebral palsy. This form of cerebral palsy is characterized by uncontrolled, slow, writhing movements. These abnormal movements usually affect the hands, feet, arms, or legs and, in some cases, the muscles of the face and tongue, causing grimacing or drooling. The movements often increase during periods of emotional stress and disappear during sleep. Patients may also have problems coordinating the muscle movements needed for speech, a condition known as dysarthria. Athetoid cerebral palsy affects about 10 to 20 percent of patients.
Ataxic cerebral palsy. This rare form affects the sense of balance and depth perception. Affected persons often have poor coordination; walk unsteadily with a wide-based gait, placing their feet unusually far apart; and experience difficulty when attempting quick or precise movements, such as writing or buttoning a shirt. They may also have intention tremor. In this form of tremor, beginning a voluntary movement, such as reaching for a book, causes a trembling that affects the body part being used and that worsens as the individual gets nearer to the desired object. The ataxic form affects an estimated 5 to 10 percent of cerebral palsy patients.
Mixed forms. It is not unusual for patients to have symptoms of more than one of the previous three forms. The most common mixed form includes spasticity and athetoid movements but other combinations are also possible.
DIAGNOSIS OF CEREBRAL PALSY
Doctors diagnose cerebral palsy by testing an infant's motor skills and looking carefully at the mother’s and infant's medical history. In addition to checking for those symptoms described above -- slow development, abnormal muscle tone, and unusual posture -- a physician also tests the infant's reflexes and looks for early development of hand preference.
Reflexes are movements that the body makes automatically in response to a specific cue. For example, if a newborn baby is held on its back and tilted so the legs are above its head, the baby will automatically extend its arms in a gesture, called the Moro reflex, that looks like an embrace. Babies normally lose this reflex after they reach 6 months, but those with cerebral palsy may retain it for abnormally long periods. This is just one of several reflexes that a physician can check.
Doctors can also look for hand preference—a tendency to use either the right or left hand more often. When the doctor holds an object in front and to the side of the infant, an infant with hand preference will use the favored hand to reach for the object, even when it is held closer to the opposite hand. During the first 12 months of life, babies do not usually show hand preference. But infants with spastic hemiplegia, in particular, may develop a preference much earlier, since the hand on the unaffected side of their body is stronger and more useful.
The next step in diagnosing cerebral palsy is to rule out other disorders that can cause movement problems. Most important, doctors must determine that the child's condition is not getting worse. Although its symptoms may change over time, cerebral palsy by definition is not progressive. If a child is continuously losing additional motor skills, the problem more likely springs from elsewhere—including genetic diseases, muscle diseases, disorders of metabolism, or tumors in the nervous system. The child's medical history, special diagnostic tests, and, in some cases, repeated check-ups can help confirm that other disorders are not at fault.
The doctor may also order specialized tests to learn more about the possible cause of cerebral palsy. One such test is computed tomography, or CT, a sophisticated imaging technique that uses X rays and a computer to create an anatomical picture of the brain's tissues and structures. A CT scan may reveal brain areas that are underdeveloped, abnormal cysts (sacs that are often filled with liquid) in the brain, or other physical problems. With the information from CT scans, doctors may be better equipped to judge the long-term outlook for an affected child.
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a more recent brain imaging technique that is rapidly gaining widespread use for identifying brain disorders. This technique uses a magnetic field and radio waves, rather than X rays. MRI gives better pictures of structures or abnormal areas located near bone than CT.
A third test that can expose problems in brain tissues is ultrasonography. This technique bounces sound waves off the brain and uses the pattern of echoes to form a picture, or sonogram, of its structures. Ultrasonography can be used in infants before the bones of the skull harden and close. Although it is less precise than CT and MRI scanning, this technique can detect cysts and structures in the brain, is less expensive, and does not require long periods of immobility.
Finally, physicians may want to look for other conditions that are linked to cerebral palsy, including seizure disorders, mental impairment, and vision or hearing problems.
When the doctor suspects a seizure disorder, an electroencephalogram, or EEG, may be ordered. An EEG uses special patches called electrodes placed on the scalp to record the electrical currents inside the brain. This recording can help the doctor see telltale patterns in the brain's electrical activity that suggest a seizure disorder.
Parents are naturally concerned
when their newborn child has problems, and physicians need to evaluate the
child's condition and prognosis as well as they can. For example, evidence
of a bleed in the child's brain should be discussed with parents, although
the outcome of such a bleed cannot be predicted.
The diagnosis of cerebral palsy cannot be made at birth and, most assuredly, the extent and severity of
involvement that an individual child might eventually have is impossible
to assess at birth.
Many neonatologists, aware of the
interaction that generally occurs between the newborn and parents, avoid
discussing the child's problems in detail because they want to permit this
interaction to take place. The presumption of a bleak future for a child
sometimes causes parents to withdraw from the child and this can have a
significant negative effect on the child. Physicians usually communicate
their concerns in terms of the child's symptoms, such as muscle problems,
and prepare parents for the possibility of neurologic damage. Clearly, it
is part of the physician's role to inform parents, but the variability of
outcome makes it virtually impossible for the physician to predict the
future, and so the physician must weigh the need to inform (and the
imprecision of information) against the need for the parents to have hope
for, and to become close to their child.
ACUPUNCTURE HERBAL CP TREATMENT
Cerebral palsy or CP is the most common childhood physical disability. It is a permanent physical condition that affects movement.
CEREBRAL PALSY TREATMENT HERBS
Cerebral palsy is a non-progressive disorder, however secondary orthopaedic deformities are common for example, hip dislocation and scoliosis of the spine.
HERBAL CURE CEREBRAL PALSY
Cerebral palsy refers to a group of disorders that affect a person's ability to move and to maintain balance and posture.
ACUPUNCTURE CURE FOR CEREBRAL PALSY
Cerebral palsy is a term used to describe a group of chronic conditions affecting body movements and muscle coordination. It is caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain, usually occurring during fetal development, or during infancy.
HERBS CEREBRAL PALSY
Cerebral palsy is characterized by an inability to fully control motor function, particularly muscle control and coordination.