Cerebral palsy (CP) damages the brain and affects movement, muscle tone and coordination. The brain can’t properly tell muscles how to move in well-coordinated ways. CP can affect motor skills and various muscle groups, including breathing, eating, bowel and bladder control and talking. Ohio parents who know what to look for can get treatment for their babies as early as possible.
What causes cerebral palsy?
People don’t always understand cerebral palsy, but most cases happen during brain development. Birth injuries such as infections or medical issues during pregnancy may cause CP. Possible causes include genetic disorders, untreated jaundice and a stroke in the womb or after birth. In rare cases, CP happens because of childbirth issues such as low birth weight or multiple births. Premature babies have a higher chance of having CP than full-term babies.
What are the treatment options for cerebral palsy?
There is no cure for cerebral palsy, and the treatment will depend on the type of CP that your child has. Spastic cerebral palsy causes trouble moving and stiffness. Dyskinetic cerebral palsy causes uncontrolled movements. Ataxic cerebral palsy causes balance and depth perception problems. CP doesn’t get worse over time. The main way to improve the child’s quality of life is through medicine or surgery. Therapy includes physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy. Medical equipment may help children communicate with others and move around.
How is cerebral palsy diagnosed?
Doctors watch babies born early or with health problems and look for signs of cerebral palsy. They look for children not reaching for toys by four months or sitting up by seven months. Problems with motor skills may make it harder to crawl, walk or move their limbs in a usual manner. Infant reflexes and uncoordinated movements are signs of CP. Muscles may be too loose or tight.
Children don’t always have issues moving around since cerebral palsy affects the brain differently. Brain damage can cause visual impairment or blindness, hearing loss and even sleep disorders. Children with gastroesophageal reflux may spit up too often. Speech problems or drooling are signs of CP. Children may even have behavior problems or seizures. Osteoporosis, which is often associated with cerebral palsy, causes children to have weak, brittle bones. A high-calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus diet may help with bone health.