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Cerebral palsy (CP): Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment


 What is Cerebral palsy (CP)?

Cerebral palsy (CP) could be a cluster of disorders that have an effect on a person’s ability to maneuver and maintain balance and posture. CP is the commonest motor incapacity in childhood. Cerebral suggests that having to try to go with the brain. Palsy means weakness or issues with mistreatment of the muscles. CP is caused by abnormal brain development or harm to the developing brain that affects a person’s ability to regulate his or her muscles.

What is Cerebral palsy (CP)?
Cerebral palsy

The symptoms of CP vary from person to person. Someone with severe CP would possibly have to use special instrumentality to be able to walk, or might not be able to walk the least bit and would possibly like womb-to-tomb care. someone with gentle CP, on the other hand, might walk a bit awkwardly, however won't need any special help. CP doesn't worsen over time, although the precise symptoms will modify over a person’s lifetime.

All individuals with CP have issues with movement and posture. Several even have connected conditions such as intellectual disability; seizures; problems with vision, hearing, or speech; changes within the spine (such as scoliosis); or joint problems (such as contractures).

  1. Musculoskeletal system

Medical terms

  • Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that cause problems with movement and posture. It's caused by damage to the developing brain most often before birth.
  • Cerebral palsy generally develops during infancy or early childhood, and it causes impaired movement, exaggerated reflexes, floppiness or spasticity in the limbs and trunk, unusual posture, involuntary movements, and unsteady walking.
  • People with cerebral palsy have difficulty swallowing and often have eye muscle imbalance in which the eyes do not focus on the same object. They also might have reduced range of motion at various joints because of muscle stiffness.
  • Cerebral palsy is caused by a variety of factors, and its effect on function can vary greatly. Some people with cerebral palsy can walk; others need assistance. Some people have intellectual disabilities, but others do not. Epilepsy, blindness, or deafness might also be present. Cerebral palsy is a lifelong disorder. There is no cure for this condition, but treatments can help improve function.
  • When a child is first born he or she is perfect Every little thing about that child - the way he or she moves breathes and cries - is just right However because of genetic factors accidents or infections an infant may develop a disability as he or she matures One such disability is called cerebral palsy (CP) The symptoms of this condition may vary greatly from one individual to the next but they are all related to damage suffered by neurons in certain areas of the brain before birth during delivery or soon after Seizure disorders and intellectual disabilities are also common in children with CP.
  • Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term for a group of disorders that are the end result of damage to the developing brain before during or shortly after birth While most people associate CP with movement difficulties it also affects many non-motor functions like learning memory and communication skills The main purpose of Cerebral Palsy International’s Be Beautiful Be Yourself campaign is to show everyone what cerebral palsy really looks like Most children living with this condition have a wide range of abilities; some are able to walk while others use wheelchairs and others may not walk at all but they can talk in full sentences.

Symptoms Cerebral palsy (CP)

Cerebral palsy can have a wide range of symptoms in different people. Some people might experience problems with movement and coordination, speech, and eating. The development and other problems that can occur as a result of decoupage.

Movement and coordination

  • The most common movement disorder is spasticity, which is when the muscles become stiff and have exaggerated reflexes.

  • Muscles can be either too stiff or too floppy.

  • Muscles with normal reflexes are stiff (rigid).

  • Ataxia is a lack of balance and coordination.

  • Tremors or jerky involuntary movements

  • Slow, writhing movements

  • Crawling on one side or favoring one side can help a person get around more easily.

  • There may be difficulty walking, such as a crouched walk, a scissors walk with the knee crossing in the middle, or an asymmetrical walk.

  • Having difficulty with fine motor skills, such as buttoning clothes or picking up utensils

Speech and eating

  • Delays in speech development

  • Difficulty speaking

  • If a baby has difficulty sucking or chewing, it may be because of a problem with their teeth.

  • If your child is drooling a lot or has trouble swallowing, it might be due to an illness.


  • Motor skills milestones, such as sitting up or crawling, may be delayed in children who have difficulty reaching them.

  • Learning difficulties

  • People with intellectual disabilities have difficulty learning and understanding new things.

  • The plant is not growing as fast as it should be, resulting in a smaller size than expected.

Other problems

Brain damage can lead to other neurological problems, such as:

  • Seizures (epilepsy)

  • Difficulty hearing

  • If someone has problems with their vision or eye movements, that person may need to see a doctor.

  • Abnormal touch or pain sensations

  • Bladder and bowel problems can include constipation and urinary incontinence.

  • Mental health conditions such as emotional disorders and behavioral problems are related to a person's mental health.

The brain disorder causing cerebral palsy doesn't usually worsen with age. However, some symptoms might become more or less apparent as the child gets older. And muscle shortening and muscle rigidity can worsen if not treated aggressively.

When to see a doctor

If you are concerned about your child's development or movement, see their doctor as soon as possible. If you notice episodes of lost awareness or unusual movements, your child's doctor may be able to help. Additionally, your child may have swallowing difficulties if their coordination is impaired or they experience frequent episodes of loss of awareness. Eye muscle imbalance or other developmental issues can cause difficulties.

Causes Cerebral palsy (CP)

Cerebral palsy is caused by a problem with brain development or damage to the brain. This can happen before a child is born, but it can also occur in early infancy. Many cases of cerebral palsy are due to unknown causes. Some factors that can contribute to problems with brain development include:

  • Gene mutationsGenetic disorders and differences in brain development can result from using decoupage.

  • Maternal infections that affect the developing fetus

  • Fetal stroke,A lack of blood to the brain can be a disruption.

  • Bleeding into the brain in the womb or as a newborn

  • Infant infectionsInflammation can cause problems in or around the brain.

  • Traumatic head injuryA baby can be injured from a fall or from physical abuse.

  • Lack of oxygenLabor and delivery can be difficult for a woman because of problems in the brain. However, birth-related asphyxia is not as commonly a cause as was once thought.

Risk factors Cerebral palsy (CP)

There are a number of factors that increase the risk of cerebral palsy.

Maternal health

Pregnant women who are infected or have been exposed to toxins can increase their baby's risk for cerebral palsy. Inflammation caused by infection or fever can damage the baby's developing brain.

  • Cytomegalovirus.This virus is common and causes flu-like symptoms. It can lead to birth defects if a mother contracts it during her first pregnancy.

  • German measles (rubella).This viral infection can be prevented with a vaccine.

  • Herpes.This infection can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy, resulting in problems with the womb and placenta.

  • Syphilis.This is an infection that can be passed through sexual contact.

  • Toxoplasmosis.This infection is caused by a parasite that can be found in contaminated food soil and the feces of infected cats.

  • Zika virus infection.This infection is spread through mosquito bites and can harm fetal brain development.

  • Intrauterine infections.This includes infections of the pregnant woman or her fetus.

  • Being exposed to toxins.Some examples of how methyl mercury can harm someone are exposure to it and eating contaminated fish.

  • Other conditions.There are other conditions that can slightly increase the risk of cerebral palsy, such as thyroid problems or preeclampsia.

Infant illness

Some illnesses that can greatly increase the risk of cerebral palsy in a newborn baby include:

  • Bacterial meningitis.This bacterial infection causes inflammation in the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

  • Viral encephalitis.This viral infection causes inflammation in the brain and spinal cord membranes.

  • Severe or untreated jaundice.Jaundice is a yellowing of the skin caused by a lack of filtering of used blood cells.

  • Bleeding into the brain.This condition is often caused by a baby having a stroke in the womb or early infancy.

Factors of pregnancy and birth

Each additional pregnancy or birth is associated with an increased risk of cerebral palsy, which includes factors such as:

  • Low birth weight.Babies who weigh less than 5.5 pounds (2.5 kilograms) are at a higher risk of developing cerebral palsy. This risk increases as birth weight decreases.

  • Multiple babies.If you are pregnant and one or more of your babies is born prematurely, your risk of cerebral palsy increases. The risk is also increased if one of the babies is born small or has low birth weight. If one baby dies, the surviving babies' risk of cerebral palsy also increases.

  • Premature birth.Babies born prematurely are at a higher risk for cerebral palsy. The earlier a baby is born, the greater the cerebral palsy risk.

  • Delivery complications.Pregnancy and labor can increase the risk of cerebral palsy.

Complications Cerebral palsy (CP)

Weak muscles can lead to muscle spasms and problems with coordination. These complications can occur during childhood or adulthood, including:

  • Contracture. Spasticity is a condition that causes muscle tissue to shorten, which can lead to severe muscle tightening and joint stiffness. This can cause bones to bend, leading to joint deformities, spinal curvature, and more. Scoliosis and other orthopedic defects can occur.

  • Malnutrition.If someone has cerebral palsy, it can be difficult for them to get enough nutrition. This can impair their growth and make their bones weak. Some people may need a feeding tube to get the nutrients they need.

  • Mental health conditions.People with cerebral palsy might have mental health conditions, such as depression. Social isolation, the challenges of coping with disabilities, and behavioral problems can all contribute to depression in these people.

  • Heart and lung disease.People with cerebral palsy may develop heart disease, lung disease, and breathing disorders. Problems with swallowing can cause respiratory problems such as aspiration pneumonia.

  • Osteoarthritis.Muscle spasticity may cause joint pain, which can lead to the early onset of this painful bone disease.

  • Osteoporosis.If bones are not strong enough, fractures can result from a variety of factors. These can include lack of mobility, inadequate nutrition, or use of anti-epileptic drugs.

  • Other complications.These problems can include sleep disorders, chronic pain, skin breakdown, intestinal problems and issues with oral health.

Prevention Cerebral palsy (CP)

Cerebral palsy is not always preventable, but there are things you can do to reduce your risk. If you're pregnant or planning to become pregnant, take these steps to keep yourself healthy and minimize pregnancy complications:

  • Make sure you're vaccinated.Preventing a disease such as rubella by getting vaccinated before getting pregnant might prevent an infection that could damage a fetus's brain.

  • Take care of yourself.A healthy pregnancy is less likely to result in cerebral palsy if the mother is in good health before she becomes pregnant.

  • Seek early and continuous prenatal care.Regular visits to the doctor during your pregnancy are a way to reduce health risks for you and your unborn baby. Seeing the doctor regularly can help prevent premature birth, low birth weight, and infections.

  • Do not drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or use illegal drugs.These things have been linked to the risk of developing cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy can be caused by brain damage that occurs in childhood, so be sure to practice good safety habits. Make sure your child is wearing a car seat, bicycle helmet, and rails on the bed to prevent head injuries.

Is cerebral palsy painful?

Cerebral palsy is a disorder of movement and posture It is caused by problems that occur while the baby is still growing in the womb A child born with cerebral palsy may have muscle weakness abnormal reflexes poor motor coordination and an unsteady gait Cerebral palsy can also cause intellectual disability (difficulty with thinking or reasoning) and seizures (fits) In some cases it causes no physical signs at all but has effects on learning.

Can a child with cerebral palsy talk?

Parents of children with cerebral palsy often fear that their child may never speak There is a common misconception that children with cerebral palsy cannot talk because they cannot control their mouth muscles and tongue However this is not true as most people with CP are able to vocalize sounds normally but might have difficulties in articulating actual words Some kids with CP can even talk fluently but the speech therapy sessions only prolongs the speaking process A more viable option for parents to consider would be signing communication like basic American Sign Language (ASL).

Do babies with cerebral palsy smile?

The majority of babies with cerebral palsy do smile When they are born many of them have spontaneous smiles which are precursors to developing more complex facial expressions This depends on factors such as the severity of their condition when the brain injury occurred and how long it took for them to develop a reflexive smile.

How do you help a child with cerebral palsy walk?

Cerebral palsy is not a progressive disease and can actually be arrested in its early stages if treatments are applied on time The sooner the treatment starts the better it is for the child Treatment includes regular physical therapy sessions to hasten muscle development and strengthen the muscles surrounding joints so as to prevent joint deformities from forming There are splints that can help maintain proper alignment of joints during activities of daily living like sitting standing or walking.

Diagnosis Cerebral palsy (CP)

Cerebral palsy can cause signs and symptoms to become more apparent over time; a diagnosis may not be made until a few months or even a year after birth. In some cases, where the signs and symptoms are mild, diagnosis may be delayed longer.

If you think your child has cerebral palsy, your doctor will look at your child's signs and symptoms, monitor their growth and development, review their medical history, and perform a physical exam. If the doctor thinks your child might have cerebral palsy, he or she might refer you to specialists who are better equipped to treat the condition. pediatric neurologist pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist and child developmental specialist are doctors who specialize in treating children with brain and nervous system conditions.

Your doctor might do a series of tests to figure out what is wrong. They might also order other tests to exclude other possible causes.

Brain scans

Brain imaging technologies can reveal areas of damage or abnormal development in the brain. These tests might include checking for signs of damage such as shrinkage or abnormalities in different areas of the brain.

  • MRI. MRI machines use radio waves and a magnetic field to produce detailed images of your child's brain. MRI tests often identify abnormalities in the brain. This test is painless, but it can be noisy and take up to an hour to complete. Your child will likely receive an MRI if there are any concerns about the health of their brain. Anesthesiologists usually give a sedative or light general anesthetic before surgery.

  • Cranial ultrasound.An ultrasound scan can be performed during infancy. This high-frequency sound waves produces images of the brain. Although an ultrasound does not provide a detailed image, it may be used as a preliminary assessment of the brain.

Electroencephalogram (EEG)

If your child is suspected of having a seizure, an EEG test can further investigate the condition. Seizures can develop in someone with epilepsy. In an EEG test, a series of electrodes are attached to your child's head. The EEG records the electrical activity of their brain. Epilepsy is marked by changes in the normal brain waves.

Laboratory tests

Tests of the blood, urine, or skin might be used to screen for genetic or metabolic problems.

  1. Blood analysis

  2. Blood count

  3. Blood typing

Additional tests

If your child has cerebral palsy, you might be referred to specialists for testing to look for other conditions commonly associated with the disorder. These tests can identify problems with:

  • Vision

  • Hearing

  • Speech

  • Intellect

  • Development

  • Movement

  • Other medical conditions

The type of cerebral palsy is determined by the main movement disorder experienced, but several movement disorders can occur together. The most common type of cerebral palsy is spastic cerebral palsy, which includes stiff muscles and exaggerated reflexes. Other types of cerebral palsy include motor impairment, sensory impairment, and cognitive impairment. Ataxia is a disorder involving poor balance and coordination, and dyskinetic disorders involve difficulty controlling voluntary muscles.

After diagnosing cerebral palsy, your doctor may use a rating scale tool such as the Gross Motor Function Classification System to measure function and severity of mobility posture and balance. This information can help in selecting treatments.

Treatment Cerebral palsy (CP)

Children and adults with cerebral palsy may need lifelong care from a medical team that includes a pediatrician, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, and possibly a pediatric neurologist. This team might also include a variety of specialists who are dedicated to your child's health. Mental health specialists are specially trained to work with people with cerebral palsy. Together, you and your primary care provider can create a treatment plan that takes into account the unique needs of this population.

There is no cure for cerebral palsy. However, there are many treatment options that can help improve your child's daily function. Care will depend on his specific symptoms and needs, and needs may change over time. Early intervention can improve outcomes.

There are many treatment options available, including medications, therapies, and surgical procedures. As needed, other treatments may also be used.


Medications that can lessen muscle tightness might be used to improve functional abilities, such as reducing pain and managing complications related to spasticity or other cerebral palsy symptoms.

  • Muscle or nerve injections.Your doctor might prescribe injections of onabotulinumtoxinA (Botox) or another medication to treat the tightening of a specific muscle. These injections will need to be repeated about every three months.
    Injection side effects can include pain at the injection site and mild flu-like symptoms. Other more-serious side effects can include difficulty breathing and swallowing.

  • Oral muscle relaxants.Drugs such as baclofen, tizanidine (Zanaflex), diazepam (Valium), or dantrolene (Dantrium) are often used to relieve tense muscles.
    In some cases baclofen is injected into the spinal cord through a tube (intrathecal baclofen). The pump is surgically implanted under the skin of the abdomen.

  • Medications to reduce drooling.One way to reduce drooling is by getting Botox injections into the salivary glands.

Discuss the benefits and risks of recommended medication options with your doctor. Also be aware of any possible side effects.


There are many therapies that are used to treat cerebral palsy.

  • Physical therapy. Muscle training and exercises can improve your child's strength, flexibility, balance, and motor development. You'll also learn how to care for your child at home, such as bathing and feeding them. Your therapist can provide guidance on how you can help. It is important to continue physical therapy at home between visits to the therapist.
    Physical and occupational therapists work with babies for the first few years after they are born on issues such as head and trunk control. Later, both types of therapists help to assess how well a baby would do in a wheelchair.
    If your child has braces, splints, or other supportive devices to help them with their function, they might be recommended for improved walking and stretching.

  • Occupational therapy is a type of therapy that helps people with their work.An occupational therapist can help your child gain independence in daily activities and routines at home and school. Some adaptive equipment that may be recommended for your child includes walkers that are wide-based canes, standing and seating systems, or electric wheelchairs.

  • Speech and language therapy. A speech-language pathologist can help improve your child's ability to speak clearly or to sign language. They can also teach the use of communication devices, such as a computer and voice synthesizer, if speech is difficult. A speech therapist can also help address difficulties with speaking or communicating. When food is eaten and swallowed, it enters the body through the mouth and nose.

  • Recreational therapy. Some children enjoy recreational or competitive sports that help improve motor skills, speech and emotional well-being. Both adults and children benefit from regular physical activity. Regular exercise is good for general health and fitness.

Surgical procedures

Spasticity may require surgery to lessen muscle tension or correct bone abnormalities.These treatments may include: -taking medication -going to therapy -changing your lifestyle

  • Orthopedic surgery. Some children with severe contractures or deformities might need surgery on their bones or joints to place their arms, spine, hips, or legs in the correct positions. Surgery can also lengthen muscles and lengthen or reposition tendons that are shortened by contractures. These corrections can lessen the severity of the child's condition. The treatments may cause pain, but they will also improve mobility. It may be easier to use walker braces or crutches after the treatments are completed.

  • Selectively cutting nerve fibers (dorsal rhizotomy).If other treatments haven't worked, surgeons might cut the nerves that serve specific spastic muscles in a procedure called selective dorsal rhizotomy. This reduces pain and can cause numbness.

Other treatments

Medications and other treatments may be recommended for seizures, pain, osteoporosis, mental health conditions, and problems with sleep, oral health, feeding and nutrition, bladder control, vision or hearing.

  1. Bone transplant

Adults with cerebral palsy

As your child with cerebral palsy becomes an adult, his or her health care needs may change. In addition to regular health screenings that are recommended for all adults, your child may need to have evaluation and treatment for conditions that are more common in adults with cerebral palsy. These can include:

  • Vision and hearing problems

  • Maintenance of muscle tone

  • Seizure management

  • Problems with pain and fatigue

  • Dental issues

  • Orthopedic problems, such as contractures and arthritis, can occur due to abnormalities in the bones.

  • Heart and lung disease

  • Mental health issues, such as depression

Alternative medicine

Some children and adolescents with cerebral palsy use some form of unproven complementary or alternative medicine. These are therapies that have not been adopted by mainstream medical practices. If you're considering using a complementary or alternative medicine, talk to your doctor first. There are potential risks and benefits to using decoupage.

Coping and support

When a child is diagnosed with a disabling condition, the family faces new challenges. Here are a few tips for supporting your child and managing your own stress:

  • Foster your child's independence.Encourage any effort at independence, no matter how small. Even if your child is not yet old enough to do things on their own, their participation in social activities, educational employment, recreational activities, and other community activities can have a positive effect on their life and quality of life.

  • Be an advocate for your child.You are an important part of your child's health care team. You should not be afraid to speak out on your child's behalf or to ask difficult questions of your physicians, therapists, and teachers.

  • Find support. A circle of support can make a big difference in helping you and your family cope with cerebral palsy and its effects. Parents often feel grief and guilt over their child's disability. Your doctor can help you locate support groups, organizations, and counseling services in your community. Your child might benefit from school programs, family support programs, and counseling.

  • Access services. There are special education and intervention services available to children under 21 years of age through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Services for adults with disabilities are also available. Talk to your health care team about how to access programs and services in your area. This passage is about the size of an area.

There are community resources and support available for adults.

Caring for someone with cerebral palsy may include planning for their current and future needs, such as eating habits and clothing.

  • Guardianship

  • Living arrangements

  • Social and recreational participation

  • Employment

  • Financial support

Preparing for your appointment

If your child has cerebral palsy, how you learn about their condition can depend on the severity of their disabilities and whether there were any risk factors during pregnancy or delivery.

This is some information that will help you prepare for your child's doctor's appointment.

What you can do

Before your appointment make a list of:

  • Symptoms that concern you and when they began

  • All medications, vitamins, and other supplements must be taken with food. your child takes, including doses

  • Your child's medical history,If you have been diagnosed with another condition, include it in your request.

  • This information is about your pregnancy and delivery., including any problems

  • Questions to ask your doctor

Make sure to bring someone with you who can help you remember the information.

Some questions you can ask your doctor include:

  • What tests will my child need to take?

  • When will we know the results of the tests?

  • What specialists will we need to see?

  • How will you keep track of my child's health and development?

  • Can you suggest educational materials and support services that are specifically designed for people with cerebral palsy?

  • Can my child be seen by a doctor who can help with all of his or her needs in one visit, like at a cerebral palsy clinic?

Ask any questions you have during your appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor may ask you questions, including: -What symptoms are you experiencing? -Have you been vaccinated recently? -Do you have any allergies? -Has anything changed in your lifestyle recently, such as diet or exercise?

  • What are your concerns about your child's growth or development?

  • How well does your child eat?

  • How does your child respond to touch?

  • Do you notice that one side of your body seems to be doing better than the other?

  • At what age does your child begin to do certain things like roll over, push up, sit up, crawl, and walk?

  • Did you have any complications during your pregnancy or delivery?

General summary

  1. When treating cerebral palsy it's important to determine whether your child has spastic athetoid or ataxic motor dysfunction Since these types of cerebral palsy have very different symptoms and treatment approaches an accurate initial diagnosis is essential The right type of therapy can help your child learn to walk more efficiently and perform everyday activities.

  2. Yes, anything can be cured if the person and family are ready to put in the hard work. There is no known cure for cerebral palsy although research has been conducted on finding cures for various types of paralysis caused by brain damage as a result of birth injuries, head trauma and strokes.

  3. Cerebral palsy treatments can be divided into two categories: medical and physical cognitive and occupational therapies.

Cerebral palsy (CP): Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment

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