Cerebral Palsy Treatments and Early Interventions

While there is no cure for cerebral palsy, early intervention and treatment can vastly improve the quality of life for CP sufferers. As with any treatment plan, the earlier it is begun, the better.

Depending on the type of cerebral palsy diagnosed, a dedicated team of health professionals will work with the family to develop an effective treatment plan. This plan may include medicines, surgery, adaptive equipment, and/or various therapies such as occupational or speech. As each patient is unique, there are no “one-size-fits-all” treatment plans. Frequent communication between the parents and doctors is vital, in order to understand the full risks and benefits of any treatment plan.

Cerebral Palsy Prognosis

A diagnosis of cerebral palsy does not necessarily imply a shorter lifespan. Most diplegic (spasticity affecting symmetrical body parts) and hemiplegic (affecting only one half of the body) CP patients can enjoy full and productive lives with appropriate medical care and family support. However, some severely-affected quadriplegic (involving all four limbs) patients may have increased mortality rates due to secondary infections, nutritional difficulties, or respiratory problems.

If you think your child has or may have cerebral palsy because of something that happened at birth, please fill out the form on the Birth Injury Web official website..

Signs Of Cerebral Palsy

Because there are several different types of cerebral palsy, with various degrees of severity, the signs and symptoms will vary greatly between individual children. In general, parents should be on the lookout for any delays in reaching milestones in movement or motor control. The list below specifies some common indicators of CP. Please also note that some children without CP may present some of these indicators as well.

Signs of CP in an Infant Younger Than 6 Months of Age

  • Head lags when picked up.
  • Stiffness in extremities.
  • Excessive floppiness in extremities.
  • Legs get stiff and cross or scissor whenever child is picked up.

Signs of CP in an Infant Older Than 6 Months of Age

  • Doesn’t roll over (in either direction).
  • Cannot bring hands together.
  • Difficulty bringing hands to mouth.
  • Reaching out with only one hand while other hand stays fisted.

Signs of CP in an Infant Older Than 10 Months of Age

  • Scooting around on buttocks or hopping on knees, but not crawling on all fours.
  • Crawling, but in a lopsided manner, pushing off with one hand/leg and dragging the opposite hand/leg.

If you think your child has or may have cerebral palsy because of something that happened at birth, please fill out the form on the Birth Injury Web official website..

Types of Cerebral Palsy

There are four main types of CP:

These categories are determined by the primary effects of the condition, which will vary according to which area or areas of the brain were damaged.

  • Spastic CP is marked by stiff muscles and/or limited range of motion.
  • Dyskinetic CP presents as uncontrollable muscle movements.
  • Ataxic CP is characterized by impaired balance and/or coordination.
  • Mixed CP will have two or more of the former.

Spastic Cerebral Palsy

Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common, accounting for approximately 80% of all CP diagnoses. Patients with spastic CP have increased muscle tone, resulting in muscles that are stiff, with awkward movement. Spastic CP is further classified by what parts of the body are affected:

  • Spastic monoplegia: Affects only one limb, usually an arm.
  • Spastic hemiplegia/hemiparesis: Affects one side of the body, with the arm usually more affected than the leg.
  • Spastic diplegia/diparesis: Affects the lower half of the body. The muscles of the hips and/or legs are tight, resulting in difficulty walking. Legs may turn inward or cross at the knees.
  • Spastic quadriplegia/quadriparesis: Affects the entire body. This is the most severe form of CP, and is often accompanied by other developmental disabilities such as seizures, intellectual challenges, or difficulty with speech, hearing, or vision.

Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy

Patients with dyskinetic cerebral palsy have involuntary movements of their arms, hands, legs, and/or feet, making it difficult to sit or walk, for example. Movements may be slow or rapid, and muscle tone can vary from tight to too loose. Facial and mouth muscles may also be affected, resulting in difficulty speaking or swallowing. Dyskinetic CP may be further classified as athetoid (slow, writhing movements), choreoathetoid (irregular contractions), or dystonic (rigid posturing).

Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

This is the least common form of cerebral palsy, affecting fewer than 10% of CP patients. Ataxic CP is characterized by a lack of fine motor control, which can lead to problems with balance, walking, speech, and other coordinated actions.

Mixed Cerebral Palsy

Patients can be diagnosed with more than one type of cerebral palsy. The most common type of mixed CP is a combination of spastic and dyskinetic.

If you think your child has or may have cerebral palsy because of something that happened at birth, please fill out the form on the Birth Injury Web official website..

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term for a group of disorders that affect coordination, posture, and muscle movement. CP is caused by damage to the brain’s development before or during birth, and up to one year or so after birth. This damage can be congenital or through accident or neglect. Symptoms begin to show in early childhood, and can last a lifetime.

Symptoms

Cerebral palsy can vary in its symptoms. The most obvious are difficulty with body movement, coordination, posture, reflex, balance, and other muscular control. CP can also cause difficulties with learning, speech, epilepsy, hearing, and vision.

Cerebral palsy is known as a non-progressive disorder. While individual symptoms may change over the course of the patient’s life, the condition in general does not get worse over time. Therapy and specialized equipment can help with the symptoms, but cerebral palsy cannot be cured.

Types of Cerebral Palsy

There are four main types of cerebral palsy:

These categories are determined by the primary effects of the condition, which will vary according to which area or areas of the brain were damaged.

  • Spastic CP is marked by stiff muscles and/or limited range of motion.
  • Dyskinetic CP presents as uncontrollable muscle movements.
  • Ataxic CP is characterized by impaired balance and/or coordination.
  • Mixed CP will have two or more of the former.

If you think your child has or may have cerebral palsy because of something that happened at birth, please fill out the form on the Birth Injury Web official website..