Cerebral palsy (CP) refers to a group of disorders that affect muscle movement and coordination. In few cases,vision, hearing, and sensation are also affected. The word “cerebral” is related to the brain. 

The word “palsy”means weakness or problems with body movement. CP is the most common cause of motor disabilities in childhood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), it affects at least 2.3 to 3 out of every 1,000 children in India.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is caused by an abnormality or disruption in brain development, usually before or just after a child is born. In many cases,the exact trigger isn't known. 

Factors that may lead to problems with brain development include: 

1. Mutations in genes that lead to abnormal brain development 

2. Maternal infections that affect the developing fetus 

3. Fetal stroke, a disruption of blood supply to the developing brain 

4. Infant infections that  cause inflammation in or around the brain 

5. Traumatic head injury to an infant from a motor vehicle accident or fall 

6. Lack of oxygen to the brain (asphyxia) related to difficult labor or delivery, although birth-related asphyxia is much less commonly a cause than historically thought 

Risk factors Associated With Cerebral Palsy

Certain factors put babies at an increased of: 

1. Premature birth 

2. Low birth weight 

3. Being a twin or triplet 

4. A low Apgar score, which is used to assess the physical health of babies at birth 

5. Breech birth, which occurs when your baby’s buttocks or feet come out first 

6. Rh incompatibility, which occurs when a mother’s blood Rh type is incompatible with her baby’s blood Rh type 

7. Maternal exposure to toxic substances, such as methylmercury, while pregnant

Treatment for Cerebral Palsy

The goal of treatment is to improve limitations and prevent complications. Treatment may include assistive aids, medications, and surgery. 

Assistive aids include:

1. Eyeglasses       

2. Hearing aids      

3. Walking aids        

4. Body braces        

5. Wheel chairs

Medications

Oral anticonvulsants and muscle relaxants are commonly used as first-line treatments for CP. Your doctor might prescribe:       

1. Diazepam (Valium)     

2. Dantrolene (Dantrium)       

3. Baclofen

4. Tizanidine (Zanaflex)

Your doctor might also suggest local injections of botulinum toxin type A (Botox) or intrathecal baclofen therapy, where the drug is delivered by an implantable pump.

Surgery

Orthopedic surgery may be used to relieve pain and improve mobility. It may also be needed to release tight muscles or to correct bone abnormalities caused by spasticity.

Selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) might be recommended as a last resort to reduce chronic pain or spasticity. It involves cutting nerves near the base of the spinal column.

Other treatment

Other types of treatment for CP include:      

1. Speech therapy        

2. Physical therapy        

3. Occupational therapy        

4. Recreational therapy        

5. Counseling or psychotherapy        

6. Social services consultations

Although stem cell therapy is being explored as a potential treatment for CP, research is still in the early stages.  

Our Approach to Treat Special Kids

We have no fixed protocol to treat special kids, we are treating each case individually, because each case is different, our approach is different. We tried to give initial results in 2-4 weeks’ time and in most of the cases till date we got excellent results than expected. 

We are providing all kind of rehabilitation services that includes Conservative to Surgical Approaches also. We have devised a special treatment protocol to treat Spastic Paraplegic cases in which we have achieved tremendous results, earliest recovery and independent lifestyle. 

Percutaneous TA lengthening with Nerve Blocks can achieve best of results in shortest possible time. 

Above-all with all these procedures dependency on Splints and Supports will be very less and child generally recovers quite early also.

Waiting too long for natural recovery and indulging too long in different therapies can be harmful for your child. It is always better to start “Early Intervention” as early as you can under expert guidance.