Cerebral palsy defined as a set of motor mechanism assisted by non-progressive and sustained functioning of the CNS, i.e. the central system of the system, during the prenatal, perinatal or postnatal period. In addition to manifesting motor symptoms, there are other coexisting symptoms, depending on the type of CP. This disease can affect all aspects of a child’s life, both physical and mental. Parents whose children have cerebral palsy often have questions about the condition and how they are reacting to it. In obtaining the document, all important aspects related to cerebral palsy are discussed to help you understand and diagnose this disease.
What is infantile cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a symptom complex that includes, in addition to movement disorders, various related problems, such as mental retardation – speech, vision, hearing and epilepsy. People with this disease require multifaceted rehabilitation. This disease can cause problems with movement, coordination, posture, balance, and activities performed by muscles and joints. Although cerebral palsy tends to be lifelong, it can sometimes improve with the right treatments.
There are many MPD classifications, but the most useful is the topographic classification, which is described in the following forms:
-Monoplegia – (involvement of one limb together with the occurring ailments)
-Hemiplegia – the involvement of one side of the body – the lower and upper limbs together with the occurring ailments
-Triplegia – the involvement of three limbs along with the occurring ailments
-Diplegia – involvement of two lower limbs with minor involvement of the upper limbs
-Tetraplegia – involvement of the upper and lower limbs
Causes of infantile cerebral palsy
The causes of cerebral palsy are usually divided into:
Antenatal (influence of the mother’s lifestyle) – drinking alcohol, smoking, maternal infections during pregnancy: toxomplasmosis, rubella, pregnancy poisoning, improperly selected maternal physical activity in the last months of pregnancy, diabetes, maternal anemia
Perinatal – poor fetal position, prematurity, forceps delivery/caesarean section, hemorrhages, hypoxia, fetal malformations
Postpartum – umbilical cord pathologies, inflammatory processes, intracranial haemorrhages, abnormalities during childbirth, prematurity, breathing difficulties right after birth, high bilirubin, meningitis
Risk factors for infantile cerebral palsy
There are a number of risk factors that can increase the chance of developing cerebral palsy. If the mother suffered an injury, poisoning or illness during pregnancy, the likelihood that her baby may suffer from cerebral palsy increases. Other risk factors include low fetal survival, prematurity, low birth weight, brain defects or metabolic disorders. In addition, genetic factors that may increase the risk of developing cerebral palsy, such as children whose older parents have had the disease, have a higher risk of developing this type of disease.
Diagnosis of infantile cerebral palsy
The first step in diagnosing infantile cerebral palsy is to perform a physical examination of the child. The doctor can assess the child’s condition and see if there are any worrisome symptoms that may indicate cerebral palsy. A physical examination may include examination of joints, muscles, and bones, as well as examination of hearing and vision. In the medical history in the first weeks of life, the doctor may also ask about: sleep disorders, the child’s muscle tone – flaccidity, spasticity, low spontaneous motor activity, tendency to tilt the head, difficulty in sucking or swallowing. In later weeks, the following may be noticeable: dyskinesia or clumsiness, epilepsy, metamorphosis of symptoms due to the development of the CNS.
When the doctor finds signs of concern, he or she may refer the child for additional tests, such as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to better diagnose the condition. Your doctor may also recommend lab tests to rule out other potential causes.
Treatment or rehabilitation options for cerebral palsy
Treatment for cerebral palsy can include a number of different options, including drug therapies, rehabilitation, and occupational therapy. The doctor may recommend medications, such as anticonvulsants, painkillers, or muscle tonus, to help your child manage their symptoms.
The forms of rehabilitation include, for example, rehabilitation therapy, which may include exercises that strengthen or relax the muscles within the joints. Occupational therapy may include various exercises that help your child understand and know themselves better.
Examples of methods that deal with this unit are: Medek, Bobath, Vojta.
In rarer cases, your doctor may recommend surgery or procedures to improve your child’s movement and posture. Please note that each case is different. The doctor should recommend the most appropriate treatment and recovery plan for each child
Support for families with a child suffering from cerebral palsy
Families whose children have cerebral palsy may need special support to cope. Parents of suffering children can benefit from a variety of support programs such as support groups, family therapy, individual therapy, and training about the disease and its effects.
Parents can also use the services of a guardian to support the child during classes or rehabilitation and who will help in educating parents in the child’s everyday activities. Many carers are specially trained to work with children with cerebral palsy, which allows them to better understand the child’s needs.
Resources for parents of children with cerebral palsy
There are many different resources that can help parents cope with cerebral palsy. Many charities offer support and advice on health and well-being, training in disease management and access to doctors, specialists and rehabilitators. Parents can also use the internet to access websites that offer psychological support for parents and their children cerebral palsy – a number of social media groups that are aimed at parents of children with cerebral palsy, giving them the opportunity to exchange experiences. It should be remembered that all useful tips and information regarding the disease will be provided to parents directly from specialists. You should not make use of accidentally found data on the Internet, because in many cases it is incorrect information. If you intend to help your child, you can only harm him. A number of doctors and physiotherapists are at your disposal. We encourage you!