Cerebral palsy is a disorder affecting the nervous system and the functions of brain seriously. The person affected with this disorder may have impairment in hearing, seeing, moving and thinking. It is known by several other names such as spastic paralysis and spastic diplegia. The term “cerebral” refers to cerebrum which is affected by this disorder and the term “palsy” refers to movement disorder. The patients who have cerebral palsy will have secondary symptoms like epilepsy, apraxia and eating disorder. In some persons any particular or several sensory organs are impaired and hence they cannot even carry out the routine functions of the day. Communication is also affected due to this disorder and so you cannot expect the patients to speak fluently.
Most of the children who are affected with cerebral palsy will get affected during the developmental stages. In some cases the baby may develop abnormalities in brain when he is inside the womb of his mother. Sudden injury in the brain or head region may induce cerebral palsy. Some patients will have reduced supply of oxygen (hypoxia) when they have cerebral palsy. The disorder is more commonly seen in infants who are prematurely born. It may attack the child at any point of his development of brain.
Serious brain infections like meningitis and encephalitis may cause this disorder. When the mother gets infected while she is pregnant it may affect the infant. Though there are several causes which is supposed to cause this disorder, the exact cause of cerebral palsy is still not known.
Depending on the intensity of disorder the symptoms vary from mild to severe forms. It can affect only one side of the body. The child may not be reaching the developmental stages like crawling, sitting and walking like normal children. In some cases, the child may not be able to suck the milk when he develops this disorder. The muscles become very rigid and hence the movement may get impaired. Some patients may show abnormal or awkward movements while walking and the intensity of illness increases when they are stressed. Jerks, seizures and tremors are common in spastic cerebral palsy. Even in grown up individuals there may be eating and swallowing problems.
Since cerebral palsy is a chronic disorder the patient will have to learn to live with it. Any type of treatment will help him to overcome the intensity of disorder. Normally the child affected with this disorder will have to undergo treatment from various doctors like dentist, neurologist, social worker, and physiotherapist. He may be taught to communicate properly by using different approaches. The parents of the affected children should responsibly take care of the child by giving him proper nutritious food and teaching him exercises and physiotherapy. In some cases surgery is done to control gastro esophageal reflux.