What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect balance, movement, and muscle tone. “Cerebral” means the disorder is related to the brain, and “palsy” refers to weakness or a muscle problem.
Cerebral palsy starts in the area of the brain that controls the ability to move muscles. Cerebral palsy can happen when that part of the brain doesn’t develop as it should, or when it is damaged right around the time of birth or very early in life.
Causes Of cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy is caused by an abnormality or disruption in brain development, most often before a child is born. In many cases, the cause isn’t known. Factors that can lead to problems with brain development include:
-Gene mutations that lead to abnormal development
-Maternal infections that affect the developing fetus
-Fetal stroke, a disruption of blood supply to the developing brain
-Bleeding into the brain in the womb or as a newborn
-Infant infections that cause inflammation in or around the brain
-Traumatic head injury to an infant from a motor vehicle accident or fall
-Lack of oxygen to the brain related to difficult labor or delivery, although birth-related asphyxia is -much less commonly a cause than historically thought
General symptoms of cerebral palsy
-Problems in sensation, vision, hearing, swallowing and speaking
-Stiff muscles and exaggerated reflexes (spasticity)
-Stiff muscles with normal reflexes (rigidity)
-Excessive drooling or problems with swallowing
-Difficulty with sucking or eating
-Delays in speech development or difficulty speaking
-involuntary, slow writhing movements, or athetosis
-crawling in an unusual way
-problems controlling bladder and bowel movements
-Lack of balance and muscle coordination (ataxia)
Difficulty walking, such as walking on toes, a crouched gait, a scissors-like gait with knees crossing, a wide gait or an asymmetrical gait