One of the most prevalent yet enigmatic disorders known in the medical world today is cerebral palsy, but hoping to get a glimpse into cerebral palsy will help people understand why it happens and what can be done to deal with it.
Cerebral paralysis is also known as CP for short. The condition was discovered by the British surgeon named William Little in 1860. His discovery led to the study and formulation of theories with regard to asphyxia at birth as the main cause of the problem.
But it was only in 1897 that famed psychoanalyst and now the Father of Psychology Sigmund Freud pushed for the idea that a difficult birthing is not the true cause of cerebral paralysis. Then a neurologist, Freud said that the problem may have been a symptom and an effect of a far more complex problem on fetal development. He was right and the condition is one of the effects of what is called cerebral palsy.
But despite the years of research and the ongoing debate on the subject, no one still knows even now what exactly causes cerebral palsy. Nothing is ever certain when it comes to this problem. This is despite the fact that a lot of findings point fingers at problems caused by a lack of oxygen during fetal development. Some also include exposure to radiation, internal infection during pregnancy, trauma to the brain during childbirth, and delivery as some other causes of cerebral palsy.
However, these are just some cases but are not necessarily the main and primary reasons for cerebral palsy. No less than 50% of all children born prematurely are believed to develop cerebral palsy upon their delivery. Medical experts believe that premature infants are vulnerable to cerebral palsy, in part because their organs have not yet fully developed when they were born, thus increasing the risk of hypoxic injury due to the lack of oxygen circulation to the brain that is largely responsible for those studied with cerebral palsy.
There are basically three common types of cerebral palsy, first is the spastic where someone with spastic cerebral palsy does not have the capacity to relax their muscles or may even be stiff. Next is athetoid, for which those with this type of cerebral palsy affects the patient’s ability to control their muscles, which is usually characterized by the patient’s hands and feet fluttering uncontrollably.
And the one with ataxic cerebral palsy has problems with balance and coordination. Cerebral palsy ranges from mild to severe cases, which may be characterized by the amount or degree of brain trauma or damage to the patient, however, it is not generally conclusive about the actual cause of cerebral palsy.
Neurologists are the primary specialists that deal with patients afflicted with cerebral palsy, through which patients are commonly diagnosed with the analysis and assessment of the patient’s nervous system. For young patients, especially children with cerebral palsy, they are most commonly treated by pediatric neurologists.
Treatment for young patients with cerebral palsy may also undergo treatment by a pediatric orthopedist who will be responsible for handling problems with joints and bones. This is followed up with treatment from a developmental pediatrician, who usually monitors how young cerebral palsy patients throughout their developmental stage, and by a pediatric physiatrist who treats children with disabilities.
So basically this is a good glimpse into cerebral palsy that may provide us with key and important information regarding cerebral palsy and how to better understand it.