Cerebral Palsy Causes, Signs And Symptoms

It is a non progressive neuromuscular disorder causing mild to severe disabilities throughout life. This condition is manifested as a group of persisting qualitative motor disorders which appear in young children due to damage to the brain during delivery or due to some pathological conditions in the intrauterine life.

The neurological problems are multiple but non progressive in nature. Approximately 2 per 100 live birth is having this problem. This disease is having no hereditary tendency.

Cerebral Palsy Causes, Signs And Symptoms
Causes of Cerebral Palsy:

1) Injury to the brain during delivery
2) As a complication of forceps delivery
3) Lack of oxygen supply to the baby during delivery
4) Infections during delivery

Signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy:

The signs and symptoms may not be similar in all babies affected. Depending upon the damage to the brain there may be mild to severe lesions.

Mild cases: 20% children will have mild disability.

Moderate cases: 50% cases are having moderate disability. The affected children require self help for assisting their impaired ambulation capacity.

Severe cases: About 30% of the affected children are totally incapacitated and bedridden and they all ways need care from others.

Abnormal Findings In Cerebral Palsy:

1. Abnormal neonatal reflexes
2. Stiffness of all muscles with awkward motion
3. Extention of extremities on vertical suspension of the infant
4. Scissoring of the lower limbs due to spasm of the adductor muscles of the thigh
5. In severe cases the back bend backwards like and arch
6. May have total or partial paralysis
7. Arrest of neurological and behavioral developement
8. Swallowing may be difficult in some cases
9. Drooling of saliva
10. Mild to severe mental retardations
11. Abnormal movements are seen in some cases
12. Tremors with typical movements
13. If cerebellum is affected there will be loss of muscle tone with difficulty in walking
14. Complete or partial loss of hearing
15. Speech may be affected
16. Squint and other visual problems may be associated
17. Convulsions may be seen in some children

Cerebral palsy is diagnosed by detailed clinical examination and by eliminating other similar diseases like brain tumour, progressive atrophy etc. All investigations like CT scan, MRI and routine investigations are needed to rule out other diseases.

Management of Cerebral Palsy

General management:
This includes proper nutrition and personal care. Symptomatic medicines are needed to reduce convulsions and muscle stiffness. Diazepam can reduce spasticity and athetosis. Dantrolene sodium helps to relax skeletal muscles.

Here massage, exercise, hydrotherapy and etc are needed. Special training is given to train walking, swallowing and talking. The affected children are also trained to hold articles for routine activities.

Moral and social support should be given to these children. They should be send to special schools where special training can be given by trained staff. Mentally retarded children need special training. Depending up on the disability special instruments and machines are given for locomotion and to assist their day to day activities.

Occupational therapy:
This is given by occupational therapists. They train the disabled people to do some suitable works so that these people can have their own income.


Physical Fitness And Health

Physical fitness is a general state of health and well-being and more specifically, the ability to perform aspects of sports or occupations. Physical fitness is generally achieved through correct nutrition, moderate-vigorous physical activity, exercise and rest. It is a set of attributes or characteristics seen in people and which relate to the ability to perform a given set of physical activities.

Before the industrial revolution, fitness was the capacity to carry out the day's activities without undue fatigue. However with automation and changes in lifestyles physical fitness is now considered a measure of the body's ability to function efficiently and effectively in work and leisure activities, to be healthy, to resist hypokinetic diseases, and to meet emergency situations.

Fitness is defined as the quality of being suitable to perform a particular task. Modern definition of fitness describe either a person or machine's ability to perform a specific function or a holistic definition of human adaptability to cope with various situations.

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