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What is Cerebral Palsy

  • Cerebral palsy (CP) is a term used to cover a group of non-progressive, non-contagious conditions that impair muscle co-ordination and motor movements. There is no one reason for CP, but is usually caused by damage to a part or parts of the developing brain, especially those controlling motor movements. CP therefore affects both gross and fine motor skills. A child with CP need not be not mentally retarded (though the two could often occur together.). Very often, the child will have average thinking and learning powers.
  •  The signs of cerebral palsy are usually not noticeable in early infancy but become more obvious as the child’s nervous system matures. Signs/symptoms of include delayed milestones, skeletal deformities, abnormal muscle tone, jerky movements, etc

Causes of Cerebral Palsy :

  • Cerebral Palsy is caused by injury to the brain before, during or immediately after birth. In general, such injury could be because of failire of the developing brain to do so properly or due to a neurological damage to the brain.
  • In many cases exact causes of this injury is never known.

Management of Cerebral Palsy

  • As all children with CP would benefit by going under a therapeutic excersise programme. They would need to undergo occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy. The line of therapy is highly individualized depending upon the specific needs of the child.
  • Surgery is not always necessary, but it is sometimes recommended to improve muscle development, correct contractures, and reduce spasticity in the legs.

Early diagnosis and an immediate therapy regimen will help reduce the impact of the disabilities and discomfort caused by CP. It’s an ongoing process. There has to be a comprehensive treatment that looks at the physical, mental, emotional and social rehabilitation of a CP child.

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