How much do you know about Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that can involve brain and nervous system functions, including movement, learning, hearing, seeing, and thinking. These motor problems are initially seen in the first few years of the child’s life and generally don’t worsen over time.
What is going on in the body?
Cerebral palsy is a motor impairment caused by an injury to the brain. The brain damage usually occurs before birth. However, at times it can occur during delivery or even after the child is born.
There are four major types of Cerebral palsy:
- spastic CP, which involves permanent stiffness and contracture of the muscles
- athetoid, or dyskinetic, CP, which causes slow writhing movements
- ataxic CP, which is rare and affects the balance and depth perception
- mixed forms of CP, which include characteristics of the other three types of CP
At one time, CP was thought to be caused by the infant getting too little oxygen during birth. More recent studies suggest that most cases come from problems during pregnancy and not during delivery.
What are the signs and symptoms of the disease?
Cerebral palsy may cause a variety of symptoms, depending on the type of CP and the amount of brain damage. In addition to the motor problems described above, people with CP may have the following symptoms: