Treatment Options for Patients with Cerebral Palsy Are Dependent On Proper Diagnosis From Medical Community
Cerebral palsy is one of the most common birth injuries in children. The usual cause is brain damage, either while the fetus is developing or due to premature birth, or a difficult birth. This can include the improper use of forceps during delivery, failure to detect low oxygen levels in a baby, or failure to appropriately treat jaundice.
Frequency of diagnosis
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one out of every 280 births will result in a child who suffers from cerebral palsy. The disease affects approximately 800,000 people in the U.S., and is usually diagnosed when the patient is still an infant or toddler.
Differing severities, differing treatments
The disease can be very mild to extremely severe. Some who suffer from cerebral palsy are able to walk with assistance or physical therapy while others are confined to wheel chairs for their entire lives. Almost all patients with cerebral palsy undergo some sort of surgery or therapy on a consistent basis.
Some of the most common symptoms of cerebral palsy include limited motor skills. Muscles are often very tight or very relaxed, and limbs may be held in strange ways, unable to straighten out. There is often trouble speaking due to muscle deformities in the tongue and mouth. Seizures affect almost 1/3 of cerebral palsy patients, and can be early onset or appear later in life.
An early diagnosis is import to the initiation of therapies
Cerebral palsy can be treated to make life easier for the patient, although it cannot be cured. Early detection and treatment is key to allowing the patient to live the most fulfilled life possible. Seeing a physician therapist, occupational therapist, and speech therapist while still young is often vital to being able to live the fullest life possible.