Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy, or Little’s Disease, is a CNS (brain, spinal cord and cerebellum) disease, and is caused by a non-progressive lesion. The disease was first described by British surgeon, William Little, in 1860. The exact definition of the disease is: "Cerebral palsy (CP) is an umbrella term encompassing a group of non-progressive, non-contagious conditions that cause physical disability in human development". It consists of variousmotor disorders (such as spasticity, aggression, ataxia, stiffness, atony), which are sometimes, but not always, accompanied by mental retardation. It is a serious medical and social problem because of the great difficultyin treating this condition.


The causes

The causes of cerebral palsy have not yet been fully established. However, it is known that brain development can be affected by certain infections during pregnancy or during infancy. Other causes of cerebral palsy are: cerebral haemorrhage, perinatal suffocation (reduced brain oxygenation), or scalp injury during or immediately after birth that occur more frequently at preterm labor.


Forms of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy presents five forms that sometimes coexist:

  1. Spastic (Spastic): Frequency 65%
  2. Athetosis: Frequency 20%
  3. Ataxia: Frequency 5%
  4. Rigidity: Frequency 5%
  5. Atony: Frequency 5%
  6. Mixed Forms


Prognosis of Cerebral Palsy

The following basic principles apply to the prognosis of cerebral palsy. Firstly, it is difficult to determine the prognosis in a newly-examined young child. Manyexaminations of the child need to be done and a good record needs to be kepton tab or on a computer. The condition does not deteriorate likeCNS degenerative diseases. On the contrary, it tends to improve with time. However, the rate of improvement cannot be predicted. There are people who suffer from cerebral palsy, and have studied mathematics, mineralogy, or other professions and have successfully pursued them. There are also children with mild and severe forms of cerebral palsy who excel in school, and also ride a motorcycle or drive a car (CharalambouGouva Archives). Unfortunately, statistics show that only 25-30% of all patients become socially and professionally self-sufficient. The negative prognostic points for a child with cerebral palsy are (a) a long delay of motor functions (b) mental retardation (c) the degree of postural balance and balance problems.


Parents who have had or will have the misfortune to produce a child with cerebral palsyshould not panic, and instead should follow a methodology of effectiveness. From the ages of 0-14, the child should only be monitored by the pediatrician who will update the dossier by watching the child. The pediatrician will then refer the child for other medical assistance, such as to orthopedics, pediatricians, orthopedic physiotherapists, speech therapist, psychologist, etc. From 14 years old, assessment and follow-up must be given to a neurologist who will be responsible for monitoring and guidance to other specialties.


Treatment of Cerebral Paralysis

Cerebral palsy is not a disease and so cannot be considered curable. However, treatment (such as medicine, surgery, physiotherapy, occupational therapies, speech therapies, etc.), education, and the use of assistive technology and customized aids can help people with cerebral palsy overcome or reduce their limitations to access a more active and independent lifestyle.



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