Frequently Asked Questions About Cerebral Palsy: Causes, Treatment And Claims
Cerebral palsy (CP), a non-progressive neurological condition, affects a person’s ability to control muscles and mobility. The condition generally develops by age 2 or 3 and is caused by damage to the brain. Famous authors, activists, and actors are known to have had the condition which, while common, is not readily understood.
There are several types of cerebral palsy: spastic, athetoid or dyskinetic, and ataxic/hypotonic. Given the symptoms of each, a doctor may diagnose a person with one or a mix of types. For those with spastic CP – the most common type and affecting 70 to 80 percent of those diagnosed – muscle stiffness and exaggerated reflexes make movement difficult. The second-most commonly diagnosed form of CP, athetoid, will manifest as weak or tight muscle tone. A person with this form of CP will have normal intelligence, but have difficulties with walking, speech and, at times, controlling facial muscles. Ataxic CP is characterized by involuntary and uncontrolled movements. Lack of muscle controls makes voluntary movement hard. This least-commonly-diagnosed type of the condition affects depth perception and balance.
Causes of CP include problems with brain development in-utero, delivery complications, brain hemorrhages, asphyxiations, jaundice and head trauma. Between 10 to 20 percent of children acquire the condition after birth. This acquired CP can be the result of maternal or neonatal infections, such as bacterial meningitis. Damage in-utero can be linked to a number of maternal issues, including substance abuse, smoking and alcohol consumption.
CP has no cure; however, treatment and early interventions can improve an individual’s capability and overall health. Physical and occupational therapy, speech therapy, seizure-controlling medications and surgery are common interventions. Mobility aids and technology can be helpful to sufferers.
Studies have associated prematurity and low Apgar scores to increased risks for CP; however, experts have noted that over the past 20 years, these risks have declined. In order to reduce the risk of this incurable condition, more proactive monitoring of expectant mothers can reduce risks to neonates.
For parents who have children with cerebral palsy, early action and intervention are key. If your child’s CP was caused by a physician’s negligence, contact an experienced personal injury attorney for more information. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can assess your case and help you get the compensation you deserve.