1. What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a congenital disorder, which occurs due to abnormal brain development that affects the body's movement, muscle tone or posture.
2. What steps are involved in the diagnosis of cerebral palsy?
A complete neurological examination is performed to determine the various signs, symptoms and causes of cerebral palsy. During infancy, a cranial ultrasound is performed to ascertain the brain damage. A CT and MRI scan is also performed to determine the brain abnormalities and injuries. If a person is suffering from seizures, then an EEG is also performed.
3. What are the signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy?
Signs and symptoms can vary from person to person and can be mild to severe. There can be a delay in reaching the milestones of motor skills along with the loss of muscle tones either stiff or floppy, speech delay, lack of muscle coordination, tremors, difficulty in walking with altered gait, seizures and intellectual disabilities.
4. What are the risk factors associated with cerebral palsy?
Risk factors associated with cerebral palsy could be exposure to toxic substances or any viruses during pregnancy, multiple pregnancies, premature birth, low birth weight in babies, illness in new-borns affecting the brain (brain infections) or severely untreated jaundice.
5. What are the causes of cerebral palsy?
The exact cause of cerebral palsy is not known, and it is usually congenital so maternal infections, such as herpes, measles, gene mutations, brain infections during infancy or lack of oxygen supply during labour or during pregnancy can serve as the primary causes of cerebral palsy.