What is Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral palsy is commonly known as CP, a general term for several neurological conditions that affect a group of permanent movement disorders that appears in early childhood. Neurological conditions are caused by problems in the brain and the nervous system.
Cerebral Palsy Causes
Sometimes Cerebral palsy causes damage to a baby’s brain during or shortly after birth-
- An infection develops by the mother during pregnancy. A lack of oxygen to the brain before, during or after birth (asphyxia)
- Infection of the brain, such as meningitis
- Bleeding in the baby’s brain (hemorrhaging)
- Head injuries during birth or in the first few years of infancy
- Low blood sugar level
- Prenatal exposure to drugs, alcohol, mercury poisoning from fish and toxoplasmosis from undercooked meat
- Changes (mutations) in the genes that affect brain’s development
Every case of Cerebral Palsy causes is unique to the individual and produce different cerebral palsy symptoms. This is due in part to the type of injury, the extent of the injury, and the timing of injury to the developing brain.
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Cerebral Palsy Symptoms & Types
Cerebral Palsy Types-
Spastic Cerebral Palsy- when the muscles are weak and stiff (hypertonia), particularly if moving them rapidly
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy- when a person has balance and coordination problems, resulting in jerky and awkward movements; they may also experience tremors (involuntary swing) in their hands
Athetoid/Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy-when muscle tone (the loss of ability to contract or relax muscles) varies between stiffness and floppiness (hypotonia), causing uncontrolled body movements
Mixed Cerebral Palsy- when a person has features of more than one of the types mentioned above
Spastic CP is the most common type of cerebral palsy, making up about 70% of cases. Mixed cerebral palsy also known as several palsies.
Associated Cerebral Palsy Symptoms-
People with cerebral palsy can also have a range of related conditions or problems, including:
- Repeated seizures or fits (epilepsy)
- Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD)
- Swallowing difficulties (dysphagia)
- Skeletal abnormalities include commonly hip dislocation or curved spine (scoliosis)
- Difficulty in controlling the bladder (urinary incontinence)
- Difficulties speaking (dysarthria)
- Visual impairment
- Learning difficulties (although intelligence is often unaffected)
- Hearing loss
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Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis
For Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis, your physicians will ask about the child’s medical history and their development. They’ll also examine your child’s reflexes, posture, movements and muscle tone.
Depending on the child’s age, you may be referred to for more formal Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis :
- A physiotherapist – for a more formal assessment of a child’s movements
- An educational psychologist – assessed your child’s intellectual development
Tests and scans Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis :
More tests may be advised to rule out other problems with similar cerebral palsy symptoms. These may include:
- A general delay in development
- A precise medical condition – such as muscular dystrophy
In some cases, further testing may also settle a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. This is because the condition can affect changes in the brain’s structure, which can be detected by tests.
Tests may include:
- A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan – which uses to study the brain in more detail
- An Ultrasound scan – which uses sound waves to build a picture of the child’s brain tissue
- A Computerized Tomography (CT) scan – which uses a series of X-rays that create a detailed 3D model of the child’s brain
- An electroencephalogram (EEG) – where small electrodes are placed on the scalp to monitor the brain activity
- An electromyogram (EMG) – where muscle activity and function of the peripheral nerves are tested
- Blood tests
Cerebral Palsy Treatment
Types of specialists a child with cerebral palsy may require for cerebral palsy treatment, that may include:
- Developmental paediatrician
- Physical therapist
- Occupational therapist
- Speech and language therapist
- Behavioural therapist
- Otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat specialist)
- Ophthalmologist (eye specialist)
Physical Therapy for Cerebral Palsy Treatment
Physical therapy can improve:
Occupational Therapy for Cerebral Palsy Treatment
Occupational therapy can help with activities such as:
- Fastening zippers
- Picking up small objects
- Opening jars
- Using scissors
Speech Therapy for Cerebral Palsy Treatment
Speech therapists can diagnose speech issues and help develop language skills. They can additionally help with other skills, such as breathing and eating because these issues involve the muscles in the mouth and face.
Speech therapy can help children who have difficulty communicating by supporting them to practice their speech with exercises or teaching them an alternative method of communication, such as sign language or pictures.
Orthotics for Cerebral Palsy Treatment
Orthotics are devices used to encourage major muscle groups and are often a part of physical therapy. Splints, braces, and casts may be used to assist children with high or low muscle tone. For example, children with scoliosis are usually fitted with a plastic brace to correct curvature of the spine. These devices encourage mobility, balance and proper growth.
Medications for muscle stiffness
If fast and short-term medication for muscle pain and stiffness is needed, diazepam can be suggested. This medicine can be taken in liquid or tablet form.
For longer-term treatment, baclofen may be suggested. Like diazepam, it can be taken in liquid or tablet form.
Side effects of the muscle relaxant may include:
- Slurred speech
- Loss of co-ordination
If the child has muscle stiffness affecting a particular muscle or group of muscles, injections of botulinum toxin can be recommended.
The effects of botulinum toxin injections usually last between three and six months, but repeat injections can be given. The treatment is most efficient when a program of stretching and physiotherapy follows the injections.
Medications for dyskinetic cerebral palsy treatment
If the child has dyskinetic cerebral palsy, other medications may be used, such as:
Treating feeding and drooling problems
Children who have difficulty controlling their head position and the movements of the mouth or tongue often find it tough to swallow food and control the saliva production. Both of these can be potentially severe and require treatment.
If the child’s dysphagia is mild, it may be likely for a speech and language therapist to teach them techniques to deal with it. A diet of soft foods may also be recommended.
A number of treatments can help children to control their drooling, including:
- Anticholinergic medication – which reduces the production of saliva
- Botulinum toxin injections into the salivary glands -only a temporary solution
- Devices placed in the mouth to encourage a better tongue position and regular swallowing
- Biofeedback training – when they’re drooling and to swallow accordingly
Surgery of Cerebral Palsy Treatment
Orthopaedic surgery may sometimes use to correct problems with bones and joints. This may be advised if your child’s cerebral palsy is producing them pain when they move. It can also recover their posture and movement, as well as their self-confidence and self-esteem.
Orthopaedic surgery may require either:
- Soft tissue surgery – such as the tendon release or muscle lengthening
- Bone surgery – such as treating the hip dislocation
Cerebral Palsy Life Expectancy
Most children with Cerebral Palsy can live long, happy, quality lives. Cerebral Palsy Life Expectancy may involve more visits to health care practitioners, require therapy or medications, and in some cases, surgery is needed. Cerebral Palsy, in itself, is a condition that does not progress.
Properly managing these conditions will help minimize risk and optimize Cerebral Palsy Life Expectancy. In precise, following circumstances are identified as areas of concern which have the capacity to shorten Cerebral Palsy Life Expectancy. They are:
- Number of impairments and key disabilities
- Mobility restrictions
- Severity level
- Feeding difficulties
- Cognitive functioning
- Respiratory function
- Visual acuity
Cerebral Palsy Life Expectancy is a measure of the risk of death occurring. It is the average number of years a child is expected to live, but only if current mortality factors continue to apply. Mortality rates are diminishing due to science and technology.
Cerebral Palsy Attorneys
One of the most stressful things a family can face injury to a newborn during birth. Cerebral palsy may be precipitated by head trauma or lack of oxygen to the brain during childbirth. Birth injuries can provoke physical, language or behavioural developmental limitations that may last a lifetime. Cerebral palsy is the most prevalent childhood motor limitation. “AcquiredCP” is caused by brain damage that happens more than 28 days after birth and habitually is associated with an infection such as a head injury or meningitis.
It is determined that in the United States, near about 10,000 babies develop CP every year and some 764,000 children and adults in the U.S. exhibit one or more cerebral palsy symptom.
Therapy helps some children recover or strengthen motor control capabilities, but others will always suffer difficulties and limitations. Moderate to severe cases can rise in medical expenses for the life of the patient.
How do cerebral palsy attorneys help?
If you assume you or your baby were harmed due to medical carelessness, a cerebral palsy lawyer will first ascertain if you have a case. The cerebral palsy lawyer usually starts by going over your case information wholly to ensure your case is confirmed. To move faster the process, bring in all medical records and anything extra you have that you think will help your case.
Experienced cerebral palsy attorneys begin the process of pre-litigation in which they will collect additional documents, evidence, a witness and expert list, and go through the additional complicated details involved in a birth injury lawsuit. During this time, it’s not uncommon for cerebral palsy attorneys to propose a compensation amount to the defence, yet it’s not always confirmed that they will agree to resolve. You, as well as the respondent, must agree to the settlement amount.
If a compensation can’t be reached, the lawsuit phase of your case starts, in which your cerebral palsy attorneys will formally file a complaint against the respondent in the civil court. Once the objection is recorded, the defence has an assigned amount of time to formally answer. The identification stage of the case usually starts throughout this time, and the defence has the right to see “what’s ricked up against them,” signifying they can see the proof, the witness list, and any other significant information that has been gathered by the cerebral palsy lawyers.
It’s throughout this time that most defendants will negotiate a compensation once they see that it would be comfortable to settle than to fight a case in trial, there are instances in which a settlement is not negotiated. If this occurs, be anticipated that you may become to go to trial. Keep in memory that your case can be settled at any duration once the litigation process has started, even up until the last week of a trial.
How Expensive are Cerebral Palsy Attorneys?
Most birth injury attorneys have their own rates based on expertise and specialization. It’s also necessary to understand what attorneys charge for. Although this will change according to each lawyer, along with the fees for getting on your case and representing you, additional costs may include-Court costs, Costs associated with copies of additional medical and witness statements, including the fees for filing the birth injury lawsuit.
How Enough Compensation Birth Injury Attorney Win For Me?
The calculation of a birth injury lawsuit’s value is dependent on many elements, it’s difficult for a birth injury attorney to tell you beforehand an exact quantity you should receive. However, as usual, plaintiffs who win their birth injury lawsuits may be empowered to:
- Rehabilitation and therapy costs
- Medical expenses linked to the injuries, including the past, present, and determined future costs
- Physical trauma endured because of the injur
- Emotional pain and worry
- Lost wages, appropriate if a parent loses the job or work hours are lessened in order to care for the harmed infant
- Expenses of special education and in-home care
- Punitive costs