Cerebral palsy is a brain disorder and group of disorders that involves the harming and destruction of the brain, as well as neurological and nervous system functions, and human movements like learning, hearing, seeing, and thinking. Cerebral palsy can be very damaging to the human body, and can often be permanent and include spastic movements and other movements that a patient cannot control on their own.
Those who suffer from cerebral palsy must have extensive medical attention from medical doctors, as well as in some cases physical therapy and other extensive care from a professional caregiver. Cerebral palsy can create a patient who struggles to complete many daily activities on their own, and thus needs significant help from a caregiver to complete these tasks and try to improve the quality of their life.
Cerebral palsy is caused by injuries of the brain, and occasionally abnormalities that are genetic or otherwise. Most problems that lead to cerebral palsy start in the womb and expand as a baby grows, but they can happen to any child during the first two years of life while the brain is still developing. In some cerebral palsy cases, parts of the brain are injured because of low oxygen levels to the brain, thought it is not known why this happens.
Other cerebral palsy cases in infants are caused by brain infections, head injuries, severe jaundice, and infections in the mother during pregnancy. A great deal of the causes of these brain injuries leading to cerebral palsy are unknown, and in a significant amount of cases, the cause is never determined.
Symptoms of cerebral palsy can differ very widely between different people, and can be either very mild or very severe. Occasionally, symptoms only involve one side of the body, but can also affect both sides of it, and be more pronounced in either the arms or legs. Dexterity is strongly affected in cerebral palsy, and it can be very difficult for those with cerebral palsy to move effectively on their own.
Symptoms of cerebral palsy also include tight joints that do not open up all the way, weak muscles or the complete loss of muscle movement towards paralysis, abnormal walking patterns, and muscles that are very tight and do not stretch open over time.
Cerebral palsy is a serious event for any family to deal with, and every child who comes down with cerebral palsy is in for a serious, life-changing amount of work ahead of them with their caregivers and medical professionals.