Cerebral Palsy is an inherited disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture. In USA, it is estimated that approximately 8000-10,000 babies each year develop Cerebral Palsy. Treatment does exist for Cerebral Palsy and is quite helpful but the condition cannot be fully cured as per the medical science. And for this very treatment, you might have to travel once in a while.
If you happen to travel for the treatment of Cerebral Palsy, you would have to carefully plan out your travel expenses and the itinerary. You have to decide for the treatment center and hotels to stay for the treatment of Cerebral Palsy. Be sure to take up the appointment in advance for the treatment of Cerebral Palsy, so that you do not face any trouble.
If you already know where you will be going for the treatment of Cerebral Palsy, or a consultation or a second opinion then click here to plan your travel. Otherwise, click here to get the information about facilities that specialize in Cerebral Palsy.
If you cannot afford travel for medical treatment, please consult our directory of charitable organizations that can help arrange no-cost transportation for you.
For more information: (links to the section below)
- What is Cerebral Palsy?
- Types of Cerebral Palsy
- Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
- Where to go for Cerebral Palsy?
- Treatment of Cerebral Palsy
- Risks associated with Cerebral Palsy
- Who can go for the treatment?
About Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy happens due to abnormal brain development, mostly before birth. Cerebral Palsy is a condition that is considered a neurological disorder that is caused by a non-progressive brain injury or malformation that can happen while a child is still in the womb. The health condition affects largely the body movement and muscle coordination.
Cerebral Palsy influences on a person’s motor skills, oral motor functioning and gross motor skills. Being the most common form of childhood disability, it can have many degrees of severity if not treated at the right time.
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
There are quite a lot of signs that are visible at birth. However, not all the symptoms originate during infancy;some can be more obvious when the babies develop. Movement and coordination related symptoms that originate in a child are:
- Muscle tone variation, either being too rigid or too floppy
- Inflexible muscles and amplified reflexes (spasticity)
- Lack of muscle coordination (ataxia)
- Tremors or involuntary movement
- Difficulty in eating
- Delays in speech development
- Imbalanced body
- Excessive drooling
- Difficulty in walking
- Delays in motor skills
The disability of Cerebral Palsy may be limited to one limb or one side of the body or the whole body can be affected. The brain disorder that causes Cerebral Palsy doesn’t change with time, so the symptoms do not worsen with time. However, their affect is for long-term. Brain abnormalities that are linked to Cerebral Palsy might trigger other neurological problems.
- Difficulty with vision and hearing
- Intellectual disabilities
- Abnormal touch or pain receptors
- Oral diseases
- Worsened psychiatric or mental health
- Urinary incontinence
Where to go for Cerebral Palsy?
In USA there are various facilities that can offer treatment for Cerebral Palsy, if you have already determined your child’s symptoms from early stages. As there are more precautions and management rather than the treatment, quite many hospitals cater to the treatment of Cerebral Palsy.
The following health care facilities would help you largely deal with the diagnosis and treatment of the syndrome:
- Coming Soon
Doctors at any health care facility would observe your child’s voluntary movements as well as their muscle tone. Some kids may have relaxed; floppy muscles while others might have rigid and stiff muscles. MRI and CT scans are often advised by the doctors. The diagnosis for a child with Cerebral Palsy might be a slow one with repeated tests and might be frustrating for parents. However, no matter how long the diagnosis takes, the doctors would always provide you with the best advice.
Cerebral Palsy is a composite disability and very complex to diagnose. Doctors might suspect a baby of having Cerebral Palsy if he/she shows slow motor reception, has tight or floppy muscle tone, or showcases unnatural postures. The time diverges when parents are given an official diagnosis that their child has Cerebral Palsy. Very premature babies are often kept under observation and go through MRI scans to point out any brain injury or damage. However, not many premature babies are diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Most babies are have normal delivery and might show signs of Cerebral Palsy reaching a certain age.
The General Movements Assessment can be done from birth to 5 months of age to a baby as it is a good predictor of Cerebral Palsy. This assessment can be taken up only after certain changes to a child’s brain are observed in a MRI. If this test suggests that the baby is at the risk of Cerebral Palsy, then the treatment can start right away.
How Cerebral Palsy is treated?
Treatment of Cerebral Palsy is as complex as the ailment is as every individual is approached differently to be treated. Even though the brain injury that causes Cerebral Palsy cannot be treated but the resulting physical impairment can be treated through myriad range of treatment and therapies. There is no universal thumb rule so as to how to treat a child with Cerebral Palsy; however, while determining the severity of Cerebral Palsy, one can adapt the treatment accordingly. Even though treatment differs for different patients, the common prototype is as follows:
- Optimize mobility
- Management of primary conditions
- Control pain
- Avoid and handle complications
- Foster self-care
- Stress on socializing
- Provide quality life
A lot of therapies are also provided for the betterment of a child.
- Physical Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Recreational Therapy
Surgery that might be needed to lessen muscle tightness or to correct bone abnormalities, if suggested by doctor-
- Orthopedic Surgery– Children with severe deformities may need surgery on bones or joints to place their arms, hips, or legs in the correct position. Surgical procedure can also lengthen muscles and tendons that are usually too short because of severe contractures. These kinds of surgical corrections can lessen pain and improve nobility.
- Severing Nerves– If sometimes, when other treatments haven’t helped out, then the surgeons might cut out the portion of the spastic muscles in a procedure called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy. This helps in the relaxation of muscles and reduction of pain but can also cause numbness sometimes.
Risks associated with Cerebral Palsy
The existence of one or more risk factors in a child does not mean that the child has Cerebral Palsy; it can mean that the child is at the higher risk of developing the ailment. Just like this, if the risk factors are absent in a child, it does not mean that he or she will build up Cerebral Palsy. Risk factors mainly determine the possible source of concern.
Quite many infections or health infections during pregnancy can considerably increase the risk of Cerebral Palsy in the child.
- German measles (Rubella) –Rubella is a viral infection that can lead to serious defects at birth which can be prevented by vaccine.
- Chickenpox (Varicella) –Chickenpox if happens during pregnancy can cause a lot of complications. A vaccine can ensure that the mother doesn’t get inflicted with this disease.
- Cytomegalovirus- If a mother faces her first virus like flu during pregnancy; it can lead to birth defects.
- Herpes- This kind of infection can be passed on from mother to her unborn baby during pregnancy and can cause a defect in developing baby’s nervous system.
- Syphilis-Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease and can affect a baby’s growth in the womb.
- Bacterial meningitis-Cerebral Palsy can happen if this virus attacks the newborn baby as it causes inflammation in and around the brain of the baby.
Who can go for the treatment?
This is the most common form of motor disorder found in children and is next to autism in numbers. Timely diagnosis and treatment of the Cerebral Palsy in an affected baby is must. Even if you have to travel for the treatment of Cerebral Palsy, you shouldn’t hesitate as it can save your baby’s life and provide him/her a quality life.
The major and foremost cause of Cerebral Palsy is a brain injury before, after or during the brain formation. Consequently, the brain damage affects a child’s muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. It is caused by the abnormality or disruption in brain development mostly before the child is born.
- Mutations in genes that bring about abnormal brain maturity
- Maternal infections that influence the developing fetus
- Fetal stroke, an interruption of blood supply to the developing brain
- Infant infections that lead to inflammation in or around the brain
- Traumatic head injury to an infant from a motor vehicle accident or a fall
- Lack of oxygen to the brain (asphyxia) during a difficult labor or delivery of the child, historically birth related asphyxia is quite an uncommon cause
If you need to travel for the treatment, then you can use up our services and find a suitable charity to work it out.