Cerebral palsy refers to a collection of neurological disorders that permanently affects muscle movement and coordination. Its genesis is not within the muscle itself, but in the part of brain that controls your muscles.
The various types of cerebral palsy are:
- mixed cerebral palsy ~ any combination of symptoms
- dyskinetic cerebral palsy ~ twisting, jerking, other movements
- hypotonic cerebral palsy ~ floppy muscles & increased range of motion
- spastic cerebral palsy ~ beyond normal muscle tone, tightness & most common type
- ataxic cerebral palsy ~ tremors, unsteady gait, loss of coordination, abnormal movements
The root cause for cerebral palsy is not always determinable. Most cases are believed to be an “in womb” occurrence. Yet, the cause of this palsy type can happen after birth.
The suspected causes of cerebral palsy fall into two general categories, indirect or direct. Indirect is a health situation involving a woman during pregnancy that burdens the brain of her growing fetus. And direct has to do with the health of the individual with cerebral palsy.
“During pregnancy” infections that have been associated with cerebral palsy are:
“After birth” infant infections that have been linked to cerebral palsy include:
Some other possible causes of cerebral palsy are:
- head injury
- gene mutation
- severe jaundice
- bleeding in brain
- toxin, radiation exposure
The risk of cerebral palsy is a little higher for premature infants.
Cerebral palsy symptoms vary widely, can be anywhere from mild to severe and crop up during the first few years of life. Symptoms may involve:
- foot, leg dragging
- irregular breathing
- muscle weakness
- urinary incontinence
- respiratory concerns
- vomiting, constipation
- limited range of motion
- sucking, feeding difficulties
- floppy, rigid & stiff muscles
- drooling, swallowing difficulty
- hearing, vision, dental problems
- decreased intelligence, learning disability
- abnormal movements, sensations, muscle tone
If you are pregnant, take healthy steps to minimize any potential complications by:
- being immunized
- making your own health a priority
- eating a balanced diet & exercise routinely
- pursuing early & continuous prenatal care
There’s no cure for cerebral palsy. And it’s frequently not a pregnant woman’s fault nor is it preventable.