Conditions

CEREBRAL PALSY

Cerebral Palsy is considered a neurological disorder caused by a non-progressive brain injury or malformation that occurs while the child’s brain is under development. Cerebral Palsy primarily affects body movement and muscle coordination. Causes • Bacterial and viral infections • Bleeding in the brain (hemorrhaging) • A lack of oxygen to the brain before, during or after birth (asphyxia) • Prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol, mercury poisoning from fish and toxoplasmosis from raw/undercooked meat • Head injuries sustained during birth or in the first few years of infancy Risk Factors include: • Abnormal deliveries, such as a breech birth (feet first) • Maternal diabetes or high blood pressure • Poor maternal health Symptoms & Science • Problems with movement on one side of body • Stiff muscles • Exaggerated or jerky reflexes • Involuntary movements or tremors • Lack of coordination and balance • Drooling • Problems swallowing or sucking • Difficulty with speech (dysarthria) • Seizures • Contractures (shortening of muscles) • Delayed motor skill development • Incontinence • Gastrointestinal problems Types • Problems with movement on one side of body • Stiff muscles • Exaggerated or jerky reflexes • Involuntary movements or tremors • Lack of coordination and balance • Drooling • Problems swallowing or sucking • Difficulty with speech (dysarthria) • Seizures • Contractures (shortening of muscles) • Delayed motor skill development • Incontinence • Gastrointestinal problems Diagnostics Several imaging tests may be used to diagnose cerebral palsy, including: • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) • Computed tomography scan (CT) • Electroencephalogram (EEG) • Cranial ultrasound Treatment involves • Developmental Paediatricians • Neurologists • Orthopaedic surgeons • Physical therapists • Respiratory therapists • Speech therapists • Nutritionists • Occupational therapists • Psychologists (to assess ability and behaviour)

CEREBRAL PALSY