It is said that there are 17 million people across the world living with cerebral palsy (CP). Cerebral palsy is a broad term used to describe a set of neurological conditions that affect movement and coordination. Today, as we mark World Cerebral Palsy Day, We would like to help you understand more about the condition and what you can do about it.
Cerebral palsy is the result of a brain injury or a brain malformation. It can happen prior to birth or during labor and delivery.
CP affects different people in different ways. People affected by cerebral palsy can have physical, visual, hearing, speech and intellectual impairments. Epilepsy may also be present.
Here are some things you need to know about cerebral palsy:
– Signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy aren’t usually clear until the first two or three years of a child’s life. Some of the common symptoms are –
- Stiff muscles with normal or exaggerated reflexes
- Lack of muscle coordination
- Delays in reaching development milestones
- Weak arms or legs
- Random, uncontrolled movements
- Swallowing difficulties
- Speaking problems
- Excessive drooling
- Vision problems and learning disabilities
– What causes cerebral palsy is not clear, but it is believed to a result of different factors including – maternal infections, mutations in genes that lead to abnormal brain development, infant infections, meningitis, a serious head injury, etc.
– CP is of four types, all of which are classified on the basis of type and location of the movement problems –
- Spastic (70% cases)
- Athetoid/dyskinetic (10% cases)
- Ataxic (10%)
- Mixed (10%)
– Cerebral palsy is considered to be a life-threatening condition, except in individuals born with a severe case. Most children with CP are expected to live well into adulthood.
– Cerebral palsy is neither contagious nor communicable.
– Cerebral palsy is a permanent disorder and incurable, once you’re diagnosed with this neurological condition, it stays with you forever. But treatment and therapy can help manage effects on the body.
– Life expectancy of people with cerebral palsy is usually unaffected but can be reduced in severe cases.
Today, the 6th of October is observed as World Cerebral Palsy Day, a day not just to create awareness about the disorder, but to celebrate and affirm the lives of the 17 million people living with the condition.
Courtesy of Times Now