Cerebral Palsy in Infants: Causes and Treatment

Any disorder or disease suffered by an infant can be very difficult to bear not only for the child but also for the parents. However, it becomes even more difficult and unbearable if the infant is suffering from a brain disorder like Cerebral Palsy. This type of disorder is caused by brain damage in young children and can result in physical disabilities. Cerebral Palsy in infants is very common because the risk of getting a brain injury is very high during childhood. The brain damage causing Cerebral Palsy can also be sustained during pregnancy and at the time of birth.

Cerebral Palsy in infants is caused primarily by brain damage sustained during or after birth but there are many other causes for it as well. Prenatal strokes and trauma suffered by a child during the first three years are also some of the causes of Cerebral Palsy. In addition to this genetic disorders and infections are also potential causes for brain damage and subsequently Cerebral Palsy. Head injury suffered by a child can also result in damaging the brain and is thus another possible reason for Cerebral Palsy in infants. A lot of these causes of brain damage can be prevented if proper care is taken during the pregnancy period, at the time of child birth and in the initial few years of the child’s life.

The symptoms of Cerebral Palsy in infants become apparent fairly quickly in some cases while in others they can take a lot of time to show up. The first real sign that a child is suffering from some kind of brain disorder is a lack of sleep and continuous crying. Other symptoms include lack of movement and inability to keep the body warm. If these initial signs are not picked up earlier by the parents these symptoms can become worse as the child grows. Therefore, the sooner the symptoms of Cerebral Palsy are detected the better it will be for the child’s health. Treatment that is started early on in Cerebral Palsy can be far more effective than the one that is done after a long period of time.

Cerebral Palsy in infants can be of a number of types depending on the part of the brain that got damaged. If the Cerebral Cortex of the brain is damaged the child will have Diplegic or Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy while if the Cerebellum or the Basal Ganglia is affected then the child will have either Ataxic or Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy. The symptoms of all the types of Cerebral Palsy in infants are different from each other and can be spotted very easily by physicians. The disabilities induced by each type of Cerebral Palsy are also different and require a specific treatment method to be adopted for treating them.

All the types of Cerebral Palsy in infants are incurable. However, there are forms of treatment available that can make the symptoms manageable and can improve the functional ability of the child. Among these treatment methods the most effective one is physical therapy. There have been many cases in which physical therapy proved to be vital in bringing about some improvement in the patient’s condition. Another of the treatment methods used for treating symptoms of Cerebral Palsy in infants is occupational therapy. This mode of treatment focuses on making life easier for the patient by providing him tools that can make him less dependent on others.

Even with all these treatment methods available there is still need for more research to be done in this field. The use of technology and robotics is being tipped as the next step in the treatment of Cerebral Palsy in infants.

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