Facts About Cerebral Palsy
Did you know:
• Cerebral palsy is a term used to describe a variety of medical conditions that afflict infants and children with uncontrollable muscle movements. Usually diagnosed by the time a child reaches 18 months, cerebral palsy is characterized by an inability to perform tasks such as sitting, reaching out for toys and walking – all of which require standard motor skills.
• Cerebral palsy manifests itself in different forms. Spastic cerebral palsy afflicts individuals with the inability to control their muscle movements in general, while hemiplegia is focused on the muscles of the arm and leg on one side of the body. Quadriplegics lack motor control of all four limbs, whereas Ataxic denotes a lack of balance and coordination.
• Symptoms of cerebral palsy can range from mild and barely noticeable to extremely disruptive symptoms impairing walking, eating and other daily activities.
• There is no single root cause of cerebral palsy. Many prenatal conditions can result in a cerebral palsy condition, including Rh-incompatibility, low birth weight and premature birth, genetic disorders, infections and exposure to alcohol or other harmful chemicals or poisons. Difficulties during childbirth that decrease or prevent oxygen flow to the brain can also result in cerebral palsy.
• Cerebral palsy has no known cure but many individuals who have the condition benefit from physical therapy and massage, which help to relax the muscles, increasing control and decreasing spasms.
• Victims of cerebral palsy are not mentally disabled. The effects of the damage to their brains caused by internal or external forces render the voluntary and involuntary control of muscle movements and functions difficult.
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