Cerebral palsy is a group of neurological conditions that affect movement, balance, and muscle tone.
All paralysis is associated with a muscle weakness or disorder and can cause a total or partial loss of movement ability.
Cerebral palsy is due to different brain injuries that begin in the area of the brain that controls the ability to move muscles. It can occur when the injured part of the brain does not develop as it should, or is damaged from birth.
Due to damage to certain parts of the brain, voluntary or involuntary movements can be affected.
This type of paralysis does not necessarily affect intelligence or cognitive ability, and it does not worsen with age, even in some people the symptoms tend to improve over time.
Causes of cerebral palsy
According to research, the causes of cerebral palsy can be varied, but they usually occur in people who have suffered brain injuries during fetal development or during the first years of life.
Other causes that can cause cerebral palsy are:
- Brain damage caused by trauma
- Genetic abnormalities
- Brain seizures during early childhood
- Low level of blood flow to important organs
Symptoms of cerebral palsy
Some of the typical symptoms that we can find in cerebral palsy are:
- Low muscle tone
- Poor muscle control
- Delays in reaching developmental milestones – for example, not sitting for eight months or not walking for 18 months
- Muscle spasms or a feeling of stiffness
- Developmental delay
- Preference to one side of the body
- Poor coordination and balance ( ataxia )
- Restless, jerky, clumsy, or uncontrolled movements
- Muscle tremors
- Hearing and vision problems
Types of cerebral palsy
Spastic cerebral palsy
Spastic cerebral palsy involves an increase in muscle tone. The muscles contract making the members more rigid and resistant to flexion. The movements of this type of cerebral palsy tend to be poorly controlled, jerky, and clumsy. It generally affects the upper and lower extremities, but other parts of the body such as the tongue, mouth, and pharynx can also be affected.
Dyskinetic cerebral palsy
Dyskinetic cerebral palsy occurs when the basal ganglia of the brain are damaged.
The basal ganglia of the brain are located at the base of the forebrain and are responsible for controlling learning, eye movement, voluntary movements, emotions and cognition. When these nodes are damaged, all the typical symptoms of cerebral palsy can take place.
Ataxic cerebral palsy
This type of cerebral palsy is the least common, indicates a condition of weak muscle tone, and affects the entire body. Such paralysis can be caused by: a condition of the cerebellum, prenatal or birth brain injuries, genetic abnormalities, environmental factors, muscle or central nervous system disorders .
Mixed cerebral palsy
Mixed cerebral palsy is a developmental disorder caused by damage to various brain structures. Those with more than one movement and muscle weakness problem are frequently diagnosed with mixed cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy is a treatment that nowadays does not present a definitive cure; but if you can perform different types of complementary treatments to reduce your symptoms.
Physical therapy or physiotherapy is the first step in treating cerebral palsy. This treatment can help improve motor skills and can prevent movement problems from getting worse over time.
Physiotherapy is extremely beneficial since strength and flexibility exercises are implemented, accompanied by massages and specialized equipment, which make the patient achieve a notable improvement in mobility and prevent future muscle problems.
Speech therapy is another method used to reduce symptoms of cerebral palsy. This therapy helps control the muscles and joints of the mouth. It can be of great help to children with speech problems and is usually started before the child starts school.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is also used in these cases, as it gives children the necessary tools to help them cope with their situation and know what is happening to them.
All of these therapies are usually supplemented with antispasmodic (muscle relaxant) and anticonvulsant drugs. Antispasmodics help relax contracted muscles and reduce muscle spasms, and anticonvulsants help prevent and control seizures.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.