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What Is
Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a term used to describe a set of disorders that affect movement, muscle tone, and posture. It’s caused by injury to the developing brain, which usually happens before birth.

What Is Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a term used to describe a set of disorders that affect movement, muscle tone, and posture. It’s caused by injury to the developing brain, which usually happens before birth.

Understanding Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a term used to describe a set of conditions affecting muscle movement and coordination. Vision, hearing, and sensation are all impacted in many situations.

The term “cerebral” refers to something that has to do with the brain. The term “palsy” refers to a lack of strength or difficulty moving one’s body.

Every year, about 1,800 children are diagnosed with cerebral palsy. In the United Kingdom, there are an estimated 30,000 children with cerebral palsy. Boys are more likely than girls to be born with cerebral palsy.

During infancy or the preschool years, signs and symptoms arise. Exaggerated reflexes, floppiness or spasticity of the limbs and trunk, odd posture, involuntary movements, unstable walking, or some combination of these are all symptoms of cerebral palsy.

People with cerebral palsy often have difficulty swallowing and have an eye muscle imbalance, which means their eyes don’t always focus on the same thing. Muscle stiffness may also limit their range of motion at various joints throughout their bodies.

Cerebral palsy has a wide range of causes and effects on function. Some people with cerebral palsy can walk independently, while others require assistance. Some people are intellectually challenged, while others are not. Epilepsy, blindness, or deafness are all possibilities. Cerebral palsy is a condition that lasts a lifetime.

There is no cure, but treatments can help improve function.

What are some of
the signs and
symptoms of
cerebral palsy?

Pure Medical - Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

What are some of the signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy?

CP symptoms range from moderate to severe and vary from person to person. Walking and sitting may be challenging for some people with CP. Others with CP may have difficulty grasping objects.

Over time, the symptoms may grow more or less severe. They also differ based on where a section of the brain was injured.

The following are some of the more common signs:

  • Delays in achieving motor skill milestones such as rolling over, sitting up without assistance, or crawling
  • Muscle tone variations, such as being overly floppy or stiff
  • Delays in speech development and speaking difficulties
  • Spasticity, or stiff muscles and exaggerated reflexes
  • Ataxia, or a lack of muscle coordination
  • Tremors or unintentional movements
  • Excessive drooling and issues with swallowing
  • Difficulty walking
  • Using one side of the body more than the other, such as reaching with one hand
  • Neurological problems, such as seizures, intellectual disabilities, and blindness

The majority of children are born with CP, however, symptoms may not appear for months or years. Symptoms normally occur before a child turns three or four years old.

If you suspect your child has CP, contact your doctor. The importance of early detection and treatment cannot be overstated.

What causes cerebral palsy?

Pure Medical - Causes of Cerebral Palsy

What causes cerebral palsy?

CP is caused by abnormal brain development or injury to the developing brain. The region of the brain that controls bodily movement, coordination, and posture is damaged.

Brain injury is most common before birth, although it can also occur during birth or the first few years of life. In the vast majority of cases, the actual cause of CP is unknown. The following are some of the possible causes:

  • Asphyxia neonatorum, or during labour and delivery, a shortage of oxygen to the brain
  • Mutations in the genes that cause abnormal brain development
  • Severe jaundice in the infant
  • Maternal infections, such as German measles and herpes simplex
  • Brain infections, such as encephalitis and meningitis
  • Intracranial haemorrhage, or bleeding into the brain
  • Head injuries as a result of a car accident, a fall, or child abuse

 

How is it
diagnosed?

Pure Medical - Diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy

How is it diagnosed?

A doctor will diagnose CP by collecting a thorough medical history, conducting a physical examination that includes a thorough neurological examination, and assessing the symptoms. Additional testing is also possible:

  • The electrical activity in the brain is measured using an electroencephalogram (EEG). When someone shows indicators of epilepsy, which produces seizures, it may be ordered.
  • An MRI scan creates comprehensive images of the brain using powerful magnets and radio waves. It is capable of detecting any brain abnormalities or damage.
  • A CT scan of the brain produces crisp cross-sectional images. It can also reveal any damage to the brain.
  • A cranial ultrasound is a reasonably simple and affordable approach to obtaining basic pictures of the brain in early infants by using high-frequency sound waves.
  • To rule out other probable illnesses, such as bleeding disorders, a sample of blood may be obtained and examined.

If your doctor verifies that you have CP, he or she may refer you to a specialist who can examine you for neurological issues that are frequently connected with the condition. These tests could reveal:

  • Vision loss and impairment, such as blurred vision in one or both eyes
  • Deafness
  • Speech delays
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Movement disorders

 

What additional conditions
are linked to cerebral palsy?

Pure Medical - Conditions linked to Cerebral Palsy

What additional conditions are linked to cerebral palsy?

Other issues that people with CP may face include:

  • Communication difficulties, including speech and language disorders
  • Drooling
  • Spinal deformities such as scoliosis (curvature), lordosis (saddle back) and kyphosis (humpback)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Contractures occur when the muscles get locked in painful positions
  • Incontinence
  • Osteopenia, or poor bone density that can make bones easily breakable
  • Dental problems

How is cerebral palsy treated?

Pure Medical - How is Cerebral Palsy treated

How is cerebral palsy treated?

Treatment helps to alleviate limitations and avoid problems. Assistive devices, drugs, alternative therapies, and surgery are among the options for treatment.

Assistive aids

Assistive aids include:

  • Glasses
  • Hearing aids
  • Walking aids
  • Body braces
  • Wheelchairs

Medications

The first-line treatment for CP is usually oral anticonvulsants and muscle relaxants. Your doctor may advise you to take:

  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Dantrolene (Dantrium)
  • Baclofen
  • Tizanidine (Zanaflex)

Your doctor may also recommend botulinum toxin type A (Botox) injections or intrathecal baclofen therapy, in which the medicine is given through an implanted pump.

Other Alternative therapies

Other options for CP treatment include:

  • Speech therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Recreational therapy
  • Counselling or psychotherapy
  • Social services consultations

Despite the fact that stem cell therapy is being investigated as a possible treatment for CP, research is still in its early phases.

Surgery

Orthopaedic surgery can help with pain relief and movement. It could also be required to loosen tense muscles or rectify bone deformities caused by spasticity.

SDR (selective dorsal rhizotomy) could be used as a last option to relieve persistent pain or stiffness. It entails severing nerves near the spinal column’s base.

Alternative and Complementary therapies

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

There has been a growing interest in Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in the medical community for more than a decade. Despite the fact that this type of treatment is not officially recognised as a treatment option for cerebral palsy, numerous clinical investigations have demonstrated its effectiveness.

Cryotherapy

Whole-body cryotherapy temporarily reduces the degree of spasticity in the leg muscles in Cerebral Palsy patients. These findings point to the efficacy of cryotherapy in reducing spasticity without affecting proprioception.

Ozone therapy

Ozone therapy for the treatment of cerebral palsy is used as an alternative therapy combined with stem cell therapy to enhance the body’s oxygen intake and use. This results in an increase in brain function and activity.

Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy and near-infrared light photons penetrate through the skull and into brain cells and spur the mitochondria to produce more ATP. That can mean clearer, sharper thinking.

Infrared Sauna therapy

A study of the hemodynamic and clinical effects of a single exposure to Infrared sauna therapy in (CP) patients who frequently suffer from cold extremities and reduced cardiac output was conducted using a comparative before-and-after design.

 

The pulsatile and resistive indexes of the peripheral arteries of the patients’ lower limbs were calculated using blood flow velocity analysis. The deep body temperature of the patients increased by 1 degree Celsius after infrared sauna sessions. Their heart rates went up and their blood pressure went down a little.

The total peripheral resistance was reduced by 11%, while cardiac output was enhanced by 14%. The indicators that indicate the peripheral circulatory status, such as cutaneous blood flow, blood flow velocity, pulsatile index, and resistive index, all improved significantly.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy outside the chamber

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

There has been a growing interest in Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in the medical community for more than a decade. Despite the fact that this type of treatment is not officially recognised as a treatment option for cerebral palsy, numerous clinical investigations have demonstrated its effectiveness.

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy

Whole-body cryotherapy temporarily reduces the degree of spasticity in the leg muscles in Cerebral Palsy patients. These findings point to the efficacy of cryotherapy in reducing spasticity without affecting proprioception.

Ozone Therapy

Ozone therapy

Ozone therapy for the treatment of cerebral palsy is used as an alternative therapy combined with stem cell therapy to enhance the body’s oxygen intake and use. This results in an increase in brain function and activity.

Red Light Therapy

Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy and near-infrared light photons penetrate through the skull and into brain cells and spur the mitochondria to produce more ATP. That can mean clearer, sharper thinking.

Infrared Sauna Therapy Mobile

Infrared Sauna therapy

A study of the hemodynamic and clinical effects of a single exposure to Infrared sauna therapy in (CP) patients who frequently suffer from cold extremities and reduced cardiac output was conducted using a comparative before-and-after design.

 

The pulsatile and resistive indexes of the peripheral arteries of the patients’ lower limbs were calculated using blood flow velocity analysis. The deep body temperature of the patients increased by 1 degree Celsius after infrared sauna sessions. Their heart rates went up and their blood pressure went down a little.

The total peripheral resistance was reduced by 11%, while cardiac output was enhanced by 14%. The indicators that indicate the peripheral circulatory status, such as cutaneous blood flow, blood flow velocity, pulsatile index, and resistive index, all improved significantly.

Who’s at risk for cerebral palsy?

Pure Medical - Who is at risk of Cerebral Palsy

Who’s at risk for cerebral palsy?

Certain factors put babies at a higher chance of developing CP. These are some of them:

  • Premature birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Being a twin or triplet
  • A low Apgar score, which is used to assess the physical health of babies at birth
  • Breech birth, which occurs when your baby’s buttocks or feet come out first
  • Rh incompatibility, occurs when a mother’s blood Rh type is incompatible with her baby’s blood Rh type
  • Maternal exposure to toxic substances, such as methylmercury, while pregnant

What are the different
types of cerebral palsy?

Pure Medical - Types of Cerebral Palsy

What are the different types of cerebral palsy?

There are several forms of CP, each of which affects different regions of the brain. Each type produces different types of mobility problems. The following are the several sorts of CP:

Spastic cerebral palsy

Spastic CP is the most common kind of CP, affecting over 80% of patients with the condition. It makes walking difficult due to stiff muscles and heightened reflexes.

Walking irregularities are common in patients with spastic CP, such as crossing their knees or making scissor-like movements with their legs while walking. Muscle weakness and paralysis are possible side effects.

The symptoms can affect both sides of the body or just one.

Dyskinetic cerebral palsy

Dyskinetic CP patients have difficulty controlling their bodily motions. Involuntary, unnatural motions of the arms, legs, and hands are a symptom of the condition.

The face and tongue are sometimes impacted as well. Slow and writhing movements or fast and jerky movements are possible. They can make walking, sitting, swallowing, and talking difficult for the person who is affected.

Hypotonic cerebral palsy

Muscle tone is reduced and muscles are too relaxed in hypotonic CP. The arms and legs move freely and appear floppy as if they belong to a rag doll.

Babies with this kind of CP have limited head control and may struggle to breathe. Because of their weakening muscles, they may find it difficult to sit up straight as they get older. They may also have difficulties communicating, have slow reflexes, and have strange walking patterns.

Ataxic cerebral palsy

The least prevalent type of CP is ataxic CP. Voluntary muscle movements in people with ataxic CP are generally disorganised, awkward, or jerky.

Balance and coordination issues are common in people with this type of CP. Walking and fine motor functions such as gripping objects and writing may be challenging for them.

Mixed cerebral palsy

Some persons get symptoms from all of the distinct kinds of CP. This is referred to as mixed CP.

Most persons with mixed CP have a combination of spastic and dyskinetic CP.

What can be done to
prevent cerebral palsy?

Pure Medical - Preventing Cerebral Palsy

What can be done to prevent cerebral palsy?

The majority of CP-related issues cannot always be avoided. If you’re pregnant or expecting to get pregnant, you can take some precautions to reduce the risk of difficulties.

It’s critical to get vaccinated against infections like rubella, which can cause foetal brain damage. It’s also critical to have proper prenatal care. Premature birth, low birth weight, and infections can all be avoided by keeping frequent doctor’s appointments during pregnancy.

Summary

Pure Medical - Cerebral Palsy Summary

Summary

Although there is no cure for CP, it can often be effectively treated and managed. The type of treatment differs from one person to the next. Some sufferers of CP may not require much help, while others may require intensive, long-term care to manage their symptoms.

Treatment can help people with CP live better lives, regardless of how severe their disability is. Many people can benefit from the following to improve their motor skills and communication abilities:

  • Assistive aids
  • Medications
  • Therapy
  • Surgery

 

Treatment & Therapy Scientific Studies

In this section, you will find an array of Treatment & Therapy scientific case studies.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)
Marian S McDonagh 1, Diane Morgan, Susan Carson, Barry S Russman
NCBI – December 2007 – PMID: 18039243

disclaimer

Cryotherapy
Gehan M. Abd El-Maksoud Moussa A.Sharaf Soheir S. Rezk-Allah
ScienceDirect – October 2011 – DOI:10.1016/j.jare.2011.02.003

disclaimer

Cryotherapy
Saulė Sipavičenė, Antanas Damašauskas
ResearchGate – October 2018 – DOI:10.33607/bjshs.v2i85.287

disclaimer

Ozone Therapy
Xiaona Wu, Zhensheng Li, Xiaoyan Liu, Haiyan Peng, Yongjun Huang, Gaoquan Luo, and Kairun Peng
NCIB – February 2013 – PMID: 25206688

disclaimer

Ozone Therapy
Benjamin Arenas, Jose Luis Calunga
ResearchGate – December 2018 – DOI: 10.7203/jo3t.2.3.2018.11205

disclaimer

Red Light Therapy
Yoshimi Asagai, MD, Kengo Yamamoto, Toshio Ohshiro, and Takafumi Ohshiro
NCBI – March 2012 – PMID: 24610978

disclaimer

Red Light Therapy
Kazuaki Tsuchiya, Takashi Harada, Nobuyuki Ushigome
ResearchGate – January 2008 – DOI:10.5978/islsm.17.29

disclaimer

Infrared Sauna Therapy
Junichi Iiyama, Kensuke Matsushita, Nobuyuki Tanaka, Kazumi Kawahira
NCBI – July 2008 – PMID: 18196282

disclaimer