United Cerebral Palsy Associations estimate that more than 500,000
Americans currently have the disease! Cerebral Palsy is a condition
caused by faulty development or damage to the area of the brain
called the cerebrum, the largest portion of the brain that controls
motor skills, higher mental faculties, sensations and voluntary
muscle activities. The damage to a child's cerebrum disrupts
the brain's ability to control movement and posture and can
result in the loss of nerve functions in many different areas.
Cerebral Palsy is incurable and non-progressive, which means the condition
will not worsen over time. Symptoms of CP are usually very apparent
before age 2 and can include difficulty with fine motor tasks,
difficulty maintaining balance or walking, and involuntary movements.
It is estimated that one-third of children with Cerebral Palsy
are mildly intellectually impaired, and one-third are moderately
or severely impaired. Other causes of CP include infections
during pregnancy and jaundice. Hypoxia, a lack of oxygen to
the brain, seems to be the main cause of Cerebral Palsy.
and economic effects of this disease are hard-hitting. It
is estimated that lifetime care costs for a child with Cerebral
Palsy may be in excess of $3,000,000! For more information
on Cerebral Palsy, visit our Resources
section, or call the Cerebral Palsy attorneys at The Birth Injury
Legal Network at 1-800-732-5243.
AND SYMPTOMS OF CEREBRAL PALSY
TYPES OF CEREBRAL PALSY
and Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
are several signs that lead doctors to a diagnosis of Cerebral
Palsy. Because CP describes a type of brain damage, the effects
of the disease are apparent in many different forms. Signs and
symptoms can be extremely mild and subtle, or very apparent.
Below is a list of various signs and symptoms of CP:·
feeding and sucking
Delays in motor development
Lying in awkward positions
Easily or frequently startled
Delay in crawling, walking, pushing up on all fours
Favoring of one hand over the other
Overdeveloped or underdeveloped muscles (child will seem either
floppy or stiff)· Ataxia (loss of coordination and
(involuntary writhing movements)
paralysis (abnormal stiffness and contraction of muscles)
Motor impairment (writing and other coordinated tasks)
Slow overall development
hearing, or vision difficulties
with perception or sensation
Inability to control bladder/bowels
Behavioral and/or attention deficit disorders
Impaired sense of touch or pain
range of motion
Progressive joint contractures
Palsy is a disease that affects each child differently. The
spectrum of severity can be extremely mild to severe. In milder
cases, the disease may be apparent only with slight awkwardness
of movement. In severe cases, victims may be totally dependent
and require lifetime medical care. For more information, contact
the Cerebral Palsy treatment lawyers at The Birth Injury Legal
Network at 1-800-732-5243.
of Cerebral Palsy
Spastic - characterized by stiff, permanently contracted
muscles. Muscle tone is increased in one or many limbs. Spastic
CP affects 70 to 80 percent of patients.
or Dyskinetic - characterized by involuntary, uncontrolled
movement of the arms, hands, legs, or feet. Severe cases may
affect the muscles of the face, mouth or tongue. Athetoid CP
affects 10 to 20 percent of patients.
- characterized by problems with balance and depth perception.
Unsteady gait, poor coordination, and poor motor control are
common. Ataxic CP affects 5 to 10 percent of patients.
Type - two or more types of Cerebral Palsy occur in one
Cerebral Palsy is incurable and is treated as a lifelong disease.
Children diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy will need extremely specialized
medical care, educational assistance and social services counseling.
Care for children with Cerebral Palsy is typically very expensive
due to the highly specialized treatment needed. A specific treatment
plan will be formulated for a child with CP based on a number
of factors including symptoms exhibited and degree of severity.
If you or someone you know has a child diagnosed with Cerebral
Palsy, the child may need the help of one or more of the following
types of professionals:
Clinical Social Worker
casts and splints are often used with therapy programs. Various
medication and surgery can be effective options for some children.
For more information on Cerebral Palsy, visit our Resources
section, or call the Cerebral Palsy treatment lawyers at The
Birth Injury Legal Network at 1-800-732-5243.
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