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How Does Cerebral Palsy Affect The Brain

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Is Cerebral Palsy A Handicap

How does Cerebral Palsy Affect the Body?

A handicap is a situational barrier or obstacle that limits activity or restricts participation, often temporarily. The World Health Organization defines two types of handicaps:

Activity limitations are difficulties an individual may have in executing a task or action.

Participation restrictions are problems an individual may have in involvement in life situations.

A handicap is apparent only when the barrier or obstacle exists. For a person who uses a wheelchair for mobility, stairs and narrow hallways may present a handicap. Ramps, elevators, and alternate hallways remove the handicap.

Today, much is being done to remove barriers and obstacles for individuals with impairment. WHO and U.S. government agencies guided by the Americans with Disabilities Act, collaborate with employers, retailers, transportation sources and private groups on a mission to identify obstacles and barriers. They also work to reduce or eliminate handicaps. These organizations promote inclusion, accessibility, and accommodation standards.

Common Medical Errors Include:

  • Malpractice during birth and delivery, including failure to detect fetal distress, improper use of forceps, delayed resuscitation of an infant and other similar issues.
  • Lack of adequate information early in pregnancy. If a doctor failed to screen for congenital defects or did not advise the parent on test findings, a wrongful birth lawsuit could be pursued.
  • Improper handling of maternal infections. This could include failure to test for illnesses, not providing adequate treatment and not following up with infant testing after birth to determine the presence of infection.
  • Medication errors, including improper dosage or medications that are inappropriate for use in a pregnant mother.
  • Diagnostic mistakes that lead to a worsening of symptoms or failure to provide adequate care, resulting in brain injury.
  • System and administrative errors that could lead to any of the above or other issues that might result in injury to a developing fetus or newborn.

It is not always easy to identify medical malpractice, and the statute of limitations will vary from one state to the next. For this reason, if your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy or you have any reason to suspect that medical negligence may have occurred, its important to speak with an attorney.

Some Of The Risk Factors For Developing Cp Include:

  • Premature birth and low birth weight
  • Long, difficult labor
  • Medical malpractice
  • Exposure to certain medications or substances during fetal development

Some of these risks can be managed or mitigated. Improved genetic screening options allow parents to identify certain risk factors before conception or early in pregnancy.

Parents whose children have been affected by medical negligence should pursue legal help action against the responsible medical staff for accountability and to prevent future children from enduring the same fate.

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What Are The Different Types Of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is classified according to which part of the body is affected. The spasticity of CP can present itself in three ways:

  • Spastic diplegia involves the legs more than the arms. This type is more likely to affect babies born preterm, before 32 weeks.
  • Spastic quadriplegia involves all four limbs more or less equally. Full-term or preterm babies with CP may have this type.
  • Spastic hemiplegia involves one side of the body, and may occur in children who have had one or more bleeding episodes in the brains ventricles.

What Causes Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy Complete Guide by Trishla Foundation

Cerebral palsy is caused by abnormal development of part of the brain or by damage to parts of the brain that control movement. This damage can occur before, during, or shortly after birth. The majority of children have congenital cerebral palsy CP , although it may not be detected until months or years later. A small number of children have acquired cerebral palsy, which means the disorder begins after birth. Some causes of acquired cerebral palsy include brain damage in the first few months or years of life, brain infections such as bacterial meningitis or viral encephalitis, problems with blood flow to the brain, or head injury from a motor vehicle accident, a fall, or child abuse.

In many cases, the cause of cerebral palsy is unknown. Possible causes include genetic abnormalities, congenital brain malformations, maternal infections or fevers, or fetal injury, for example. The following types of brain damage may cause its characteristic symptoms:

Abnormal development of the brain . Any interruption of the normal process of brain growth during fetal development can cause brain malformations that interfere with the transmission of brain signals. Mutations in the genes that control brain development during this early period can keep the brain from developing normally. Infections, fevers, trauma, or other conditions that cause unhealthy conditions in the womb also put an unborn babys nervous system at risk.

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It Does Not Affect Intelligence

Yes, cerebral palsy affects the brain. But this does not mean that it affects intelligence. It strictly impacts motor movement. Your child will in all likelihood have no problem keeping up with their peers academically.

Still, as a parent of a child with cerebral palsy, you should know that it does have a strong association with intellectual disabilitiesespecially in more severe cases. This does not mean that CP can cause intellectual disabilities. Rather, it means that what caused your childs cerebral palsy also impacted a portion of their brain that controls cognition.

If your child has cerebral palsy, there is a chance that it was caused by the negligence of a medical professional. If you have even the slightest suspicion that this might have been the case, a lawsuit can help to cover the cost of the care your child needs. Get in touch with the Snyder Law Group for a free case evaluation.

What Is Mixed Cerebral Palsy

Many children with cerebral palsy have multiple symptoms with combinations of the various forms of cerebral palsy. For example, children with spastic cerebral palsy often continue to have a head lag, which is representative of hypotonia. Children with choreoathetoid or hypotonic cerebral palsy often have increased deep tendon reflexes, which are suggestive of some spasticity. Children with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy may also have dystonic movements in the limbs affected. The different types of cerebral palsy described above are rarely seen as pure clinical forms, more often the child with cerebral palsy has a mixture of signs or symptoms. Nevertheless, in clinical practice the type of cerebral palsy is defined on the basis of the predominant manifestations.

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Causes And Risk Factors For Cerebral Palsy

Most of the time, brain damage that leads to cerebral palsy occurs before or during birth. Doctors cant always identify the exact cause, and parents cant anticipate or prevent the condition.

Sometimes, cerebral palsy is the result of an interruption in the flow of oxygen to the babys brain. Babies born after a difficult laborespecially if there is a birth complication that reduces oxygen flow to the babyhave a higher risk of developing the condition.

The risk of being born with cerebral palsy is higher in babies who have a very low birth weight and in those born before 32 weeks of pregnancy.

Fever or infections during pregnancy, such as chicken pox or rubella, can cause the mothers body to produce inflammation-causing proteins, called cytokines. These cytokines can enter the babys bloodstream and harm the developing brain before birth.

Less commonly, cerebral palsy may occur during infancy as a result of an injury to the childs brain due to an accident or because of an infection of the brain, such as meningitis. This is called acquired cerebral palsy.

Intelligence And Cerebral Palsy: The Facts

Cerebral Palsy (CP) Explained

Many birth injuries are caused by medical negligence. Talk to an attorney today.

In this post, we will cover how Cerebral Palsy may or may not affect a childs intelligence and how to determine if a child may have intellectual impairments.

This information was compiled from medical journals, non profits, and experts who study Cerebral Palsy.

Keep reading to learn more about intelligence and Cerebral Palsy.

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Causes By Location Of Brain Damage

Children can experience different types of cerebral palsy depending on the location of brain damage.

The areas of the brain that control motor skills are the motor cortex, cerebellum, basal ganglia, and pyramidal tracts. These areas relay impulses from the brain to the nerves and muscles to control movement. Damage to these parts of the brain can result in movement impairments and intellectual disabilities.

How Is Cerebral Palsy Classified

Cerebral palsy is classified according to the Gross Motor Function Classification System . The World Health Organization and the Surveillance of Cerebral Palsy in Europe developed the GMFCS as a universal standard for determining the physical capabilities of people with CP.

The system focuses on:

  • the use of adaptive technology

The five levels of the GMFCS increase with decreasing mobility:

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Cerebral Palsy: Medlineplus Medical Encyclopedia

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that can involve brain, which affects nervous system functions, such as movement, learning, hearing, seeing, and thinking. There are several different types of cerebral palsy, including spastic, dyskinetic, ataxic, hypotonic, and mixed. Causes Cerebral palsy is caused by injuries or abnormalities of the brain.

Can A Child Outgrow Mild Cerebral Palsy

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In some children with cerebral palsy, especially those who are mildly affected, brain imaging tests show no abnormalities, suggesting that microscopically small areas of brain damage can cause symptoms. About half of babies who are diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy appear to outgrow their symptoms.

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What Are The Signs Of Cerebral Palsy

There are many different types and levels of disability with CP. So the signs can be different in each child.

The signs usually appear in the early months of life. But sometimes there is a delay in getting a diagnosis until after age two. Infants with CP often have developmental delays. They are slow to reach developmental milestones such as learning to roll over, sit, crawl, or walk. They may also have abnormal muscle tone. They may seem floppy, or they may be stiff or rigid.

It’s important to know that children without CP can also have these signs. Contact your child’s health care provider know if your child has any of these signs, so you can get a correct diagnosis.

Can I Prevent Cerebral Palsy

Although it isnt possible to prevent cerebral palsy, you can reduce the risk of having a baby with CP. If youre pregnant or planning to start a family, ensure that you get proper prenatal care. Your provider will monitor you and your baby and address health issues if they arise.

Take your baby to your healthcare provider for regular checkups. Stay up to date on vaccines to protect your child from infections that can cause cerebral palsy.

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What Therapies Are Available To Help Children With Cognitive Impairments

A cognitive impairment is a condition that has no cure, but with the right set of therapies and interventions, a child can learn to work within his or her limits, which in turn extends his or her ability to function. Additionally, its impossible to determine what an infants future capabilities will by the time he or she grows up.

Early interventions the specifics of which will depend on the nature and severity of a childs condition will help a child learn to expand his or abilities. When medical professionals and educators begin to devise a specific plan for a child, there are many factors that will need to be addressed.

A childs cognitive challenges will be addressed as part of his or her overall medical plan. The following professionals will be involved in a childs efforts to work within in his or her impairment:

  • Occupational therapists
  • Special education teachers
  • Speech and language pathologists

The goal of all interventions is to help a child compensate for physical or cognitive impairments. Some of the barriers that children with cognitive impairment will address in a school or therapeutic setting include:

What Are Specific Treatment Plans For Cerebral Palsy

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After the initial evaluation, specific treatment plans are outlined for each child:

Seizure medication

If the child has seizures, the treatment is based on the type and frequency of the seizures. Complete seizure control can often be achieved using a single medication, but some children with cerebral palsy have particularly difficult-to-control seizures. Medication can have side effects affecting the brain, ranging from sedation to hyperactivity. They can also affect liver function, white and red blood cells, and bone metabolism. Side effects are usually not harmful and resolve when the offending medication is discontinued. The goal of the treating physician should be for the child to become seizure-free with few or no side effects. It must be noted that it is of no benefit to the child to be seizure-free but significantly impaired by medication side effects.


Other surgical procedures

Ophthalmologists can help strabismus by operating on the muscles that control the movement of the eye or to correct some other complications such as cataracts.

Neurosurgeons can treat intractable seizure control. Operations such as callosotomy, hemispherectomy, and focal resections of areas of abnormal brain tissue responsible for the seizures, might be indicated in some cases. An alternative procedure for the treatment of epilepsyis vagal nerve stimulation, an implantable device, that can be useful in selected patients with difficult to control seizures.


Medical care

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How Cerebral Palsy Affects The Brain And Body Parts

Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by Pierrette Mimi Poinsett, M.D.

This article has been fact checked by a Board Certified Pediatrician. Sources of information for the article are listed at the bottom.

For any content issues please Contact Us.

Cerebral palsy affects both the brain and body parts. Brain issues will depend on the type of brain injury or abnormality that develops, while affected body parts will depend on the severity of the disorder, as well as the type of cerebral palsy the child has. Brain issues lead to affected body parts, which can make movements, swallowing, daily activities, and eye coordination difficult.

What Is Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy

Hypotonia is diminished muscle tone. The infant or child with hypotonic cerebral palsy appears floppy — like a rag doll. In early infancy, hypotonia can be easily seen by the inability of the infant to gain any head control when pulled by the arms to a sitting position . Children with severe hypotonia may have the most difficulty of all children with cerebral palsy in attaining motor skill milestones and normal cognitive development.

Hypotonic cerebral palsy is often the result of severe brain damage or malformations. It is believed that hypotonic cerebral palsy is the result of an injury or malformation at an earlier brain developmental stage than that which causes spastic or choreoathetoid cerebral palsy.

Hypotonia in infancy is a common finding in many neurological conditions, ranging from very mild abnormalities to severe or even fatal neurodegenerative or muscle disorders. It is important to note that many children with spastic cerebral palsy go through a short stage of being somewhat hypotonic in early life, before presenting the full syndrome.

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Developing A Treatment Plan

If a child shows any signs of intellectual or physical impairment, its important to take action as soon as possible.

Early intervention is critical and may significantly improve a childs prognosis. A proper treatment plan can help a child with access to therapy, medicine, medical procedures, specialized equipment, and more.

If you have questions about an intellectual or physical impairment related to Cerebral Palsy, the birth injury attorneys as Brown Trial Firm can help. Use the 24/7 live chat feature to get connected and begin learning about treatment options and support for you and your family.

Cold, F., Health, E., Disease, H., Disease, L., Management, P., & Conditions, S. et al. . Intellectual Disability . WebMD. Retrieved 14 January 2020, from Alliance, C. . How does cerebral palsy affect people? | Cerebral Palsy Alliance. Retrieved 14 January 2020, from

Cerebral Palsy Symptoms And Effects

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Cerebral palsy affects the areas of the brain that control muscle tone, movement, balance and coordination. As a result, all people who have cerebral palsy experience some degree of difficulty making smooth, deliberate movements. Some people who have cerebral palsy have cognitive impairments, while others are only affected physically.

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Is Cerebral Palsy Painful

Several scientific studies have identified pain as one of the most common problems experienced by individuals with CP, children and adults alike, and as many as 75% of adults with CP suffer from chronic pain. Pain in CP seems to be overlooked and insufficiently treated by caregivers and health professionals.

Things To Know About Cerebral Palsy

When you first face a diagnosis of cerebral palsy for your child, you may struggle with understanding what the diagnosis will mean and how it will affect your life. CP is complex, and it differs between patients. There are a few general things that can help you begin to understand your childs condition, however:

CP affects approximately 1 in 345 children. It is the most common form of motor disability in young children.

The most common form of CP is spastic CP, affecting as much as 85 percent of all cases. In spastic cerebral palsy, the patients muscles are tightened, and this stiffness can result in awkward movement.

A number of co-occurring conditions often exist alongside cerebral palsy. These include

  • epilepsy
  • cognitive disabilities
  • blindness.

These conditions are not caused by CP but arise as a result of the type of brain injury that caused CP.

Most CP is congenital, meaning it occurred before or during birth. Risk factors for congenital CP include

  • premature birth
  • low birth weight
  • birth complications

Exposure to certain infections, medications, and chemicals while in the womb can also lead to CP. CP can also be acquired after birth, most commonly as a result of traumatic brain injury or brain infection.

Although CP is a serious and lifelong condition, many treatments are available that can reduce the severity of symptoms and allow children with cerebral palsy to live long, independent and active lives.

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