Cerebral Palsy is a broad term used to identify a number of neural conditions that affect the control of limb movements due to the damage to brain in developing stages.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is caused by various neural conditions that afflict the child during the earliest stages after birth. This is usually seen in lack of control of fine motor skills in the child. More severe cases of cerebral palsy also display signs of mental retardation, often accompanied by seizures. Child’s hearing, vision, speech & learning abilities are also hampered due to this condition.
Symptoms of Pediatric Cerebral Palsy
- Crawling in an abnormal way
- Slower progress in crawling, walking, learning & speech as compared to other children of the same age
- Muscle tone, or the ability to relax & tighten muscles, is abnormal
- Problem while feeding
- Favors one particular side of the body more than the other
- Muscles seem under-developed or over-developed
- Weak co-ordination & balance
- Hearing, eyesight, bladder & bowel control problems
- Stiff muscles that contract abnormally giving rise to slower movements
- Limited range of movement
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
There are various causes of cerebral palsy, such as –
- Birth Injuries – If the brain of child suffers any type of shock or injury during birth then there is a risk of that child developing cerebral palsy.
- Infections – Lack of amino acids during pregnancy may give rise to infections that affect the natural development of brain in the child.
- Oxygen Deprivation – Lack or loss of oxygen to the baby’s brain during or after pregnancy also hampers normal brain development in the child.
Types of Cerebral Palsy
There are several types of cerebral palsy, such as –
- Spastic Hemiplegia – In this type of cerebral palsy the child’s limbs on one side appear stiff. The affected side shows slower development. In some cases speech impairment is also seen along with seizures.
- Spastic Diplegia – In this type of cerebral palsy child’s lower limbs are affected. This is caused by the stiffening of the leg & hip muscles.
- Spastic Quadriplegia – This is a more severe type of cerebral palsy. In this the child’s arms, legs & upper body is affected. It raises the risk of mental retardation displayed by speech impairment & mobility problems. Children with spastic quadriplegia also have seizures.
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy – This type of cerebral palsy affects the depth perception in child. Hands to eye co-ordination along with fine motor skills are also affected. This causes warped sense of balance that causes problems while walking. Some children also show erratic speech & tremors in hands.
- Athetoid or Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy – This is more common type of cerebral palsy. It affects muscles almost all over the body. More often, the child’s intelligence is normal. Muscles are weak making voluntary movement very difficult. Random & involuntary movements are an often occurrence. Children in this condition may face problems in sitting, maintaining correct posture, walking as well as speech impairment. Speech defects occur due to lack of control over tongue & vocal cords.
- Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy – Most cases with this type of cerebral palsy show lack of control over neck muscles. This might often lead to breathing problems. Injury to the cerebrum is likely to cause hypotonic cerebral palsy.
How is Cerebral Palsy Treated?
This includes observation of movements & posture in the child. Doctors conduct tests to check child’s muscle tone, motor skills & reflexes. In children of an older age the doctors also conduct further tests so as to assess child’s level of intellectual development.
Treatments for different types of cerebral palsy depend upon child’s particular disabilities. Different types of treatments include –
- Surgery – Surgical procedure is used in cases where muscles are tight & stiff giving rise to involuntary muscle movement or restricted use of these muscles. At times certain spinal nerves need to be severed so as to stop spasms in the muscles of the limbs.
- Medication – Muscle spasms & involuntary tightening of muscles can be corrected by using some medicines. Other medicines may also be given in order to stop seizures.
- Physical Therapy – These are a particular set of exercises that are useful in increasing muscle use & improving movement.
- Mechanical Aids – Mechanical aids may include simple orthopedic braces that help in normal movement to computer-aided synthesizers that help in communication in cases of speech impairment.
- Occupational Therapy – This is useful in developing child’s fine motor skills that are necessary in daily life.
- Speech Therapy – This is helpful to the child in overcoming speech disabilities.
Why Choose India for Cerebral Palsy Treatment & Surgery?
Cerebral Palsy is one of the most common brain disorders among children. However treatment & surgery for cerebral palsy can often be a financial burden. In India cost of surgery & treatment for cerebral palsy is very low as compared to treatments around the world in other countries. Cost effective treatment & surgery for cerebral palsy accompanied by a wide & advanced network of specialty hospitals & treatment centers ensures that your child gets the best treatment option. Doctors & surgeons in India have vast experience in handling neural disorders. These exemplary standard of service maintained by Indian hospitals in major cities like Goa, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Kerala & Kolkata are widely known & highly recommended. Treatment & surgical alternatives for cerebral palsy in India is cost effective & generally affordable.