Cerebral palsy (CP) is a disorder that has to do with poor brain development usually due to low supply of oxygen to the brain or damages.
It is a disorder, not a classical illness and can occur during pregnancy or birth of the baby.
Percent of Occurrence in Child Birth
There’s one out of every 500 children having cerebral palsy at birth and this could be more in some areas with people or family with extensive inbreeding.
Also, the percent of premature babies having cerebral palsy is about one, while about 2% of preemies that undergo Infant respiratory distress syndrome (IRDS) later develop cerebral palsy.
What causes cerebral palsy during pregnancy
Cerebral palsy (CP) is caused largely due to poor nutrition, unhealthy lifestyle of the pregnant woman and not going for medical lessons during the stage pregnancy.
Risk Factors of Cerebral Palsy
There are some risk factors of CP such as maternal problems, multiple gestation, untreated infections in the body, chronic fever, patern birth, abuse of drugs, excessive alcohol intake.
Others are blood type, incompatibility between the mother and fetus. This occurs when the mother’s red blood cells develop antibodies that fight the fetus own blood.
Can Cerebral palsy be passed down and prevented ?
CP is not a genetic disorder per say because there are chances of people having healthy baby despite having cerebral palsy.
But recently, there are studies on the impact of chromosome 2q24-25 on this disorder.
In the study between chromosome makers D2S124 and D2S148 of some selected families, an amount of autosomal recessive symmetrical spastic cerebral palsy was linked to chromosome 2q24-25.
Further research is still needed in this area.
However, you can prevent cerebral palsy by seeking your doctor’s counsel immediately after your conception.
Also note that, there is no way you can know or get it detected if your fetus is having cerebral palsy until the brain is fully developed after birth.
But in let’s say 20 weeks ultrasound scan, the sonographer may be able to know there’s likely problem with the brain and inform about the tendency the baby having CP later in life.
When the child is finally Born
There are some early signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy in new born babies, either in premature babies or matured fetus.
How do you now know your baby has CP?
The signs of cerebral palsy in 2, 4, 8 or 15 months old babies are generally low muscle tone, this become noticeable when the baby is four month.
Inability to control the head, swallowing problems.
Others are inability to move up the head if the lies down on the stomach, slow body development, weak or stiff muscle, poor muscle control when the baby is fully grown up to one year, bad posture and slow general body development.
It is not easy to notice the disorder in the first month of the baby’s life because even healthy babies do not walk, move, and speak during that period.
But when they get older, you can begin to notice that their brain is not functioning normal, the baby is not active enough and there’s delay in growth processes.
Since there are different types of CP with respective signs and symptoms at each stage of life of the baby, it may be difficult to know how early to take your baby for diagnosis.
But if you notice he smile in every interaction with others or to herself alone always, follow every moving object with his/eyes, open and shut palms frequently, you can keep watch for more signs as he grows.
The first signs of cerebral palsy in toddlers are low muscle control. That is something you can see within the first six months or year of the baby’s life.
But for mild cerebral palsy, you may not notice these as much until when the baby is 32 weeks old or more and already start walking and running.
He may be a little clumsy, not following instructions in school and generally committing nuisance but can live independently and control his body.
Generally, the symptoms of CP become more obvious when the kid grows.
A few of the most common symptoms during that period are an inability to walk normal even after 18 months, difficulties with talking and learning even after 24 months of life.
The babies over six months can also have problems moving their hands to the mouth, putting the hands together, and that is all because of brain dysfunctions.
In consultation with a pediatrician, a child can get an adequate treatment necessary for further body development.
It usually consists of various exercises that support a normal function of muscles.
A kid with this disorder requires special health care because it is not often capable to perform some simple task that other kids of the same age can.
Can Cerebral palsy be cured with New treatment?
CP is a lifelong problem and people can wait too long to have cure for it.
There are new studies especially on the effectiveness of stem cells therapy in managing Cerebral palsy.
As at today, homeopathy or Ayurveda treatment for spasticity and cerebral palsy hypoxia in Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi and other places in India are just towards limiting the symptoms and effect on the patients.
There are also further studies in this direction in US and UK but not scientifically proven that it can really be cured but we’re looking to success over this in the future.
For now, children affected with CP can only have someone to help them in most things they do.
Especially in the severe case whereby the brain is poorly developed and coordination is also poor that the child can not control the body.
Nevertheless, this condition can be improved with assitive technology for kids with cerebral palsy.
Also, it’s important to know that there are kids not having CP and have some of those symptoms, and their health conditions should be properly checked by doctors.
Only then, the parents and guardians can really know what other issue is with such child.