Name: Cerebral Palsy
Most individuals affected by cerebral palsy have suffered from brain damage during the birthing process. Lack of oxygen to the brain tissue (hypoxia) during birth can lead to permanent brain damage that result in an inability of the brain to properly communicate with the rest of the body. Other causes include, traumatic brain injury, bleeding in the brain tissue, severe infection in the brain and extreme cases of jaundice. Damage caused by cerebral palsy prevents electrical impulses generated by the central nervous system from properly reaching muscles, tissues and organs in the body.
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
The signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy depend on the area(s) of the brain that are affected. Symptoms may occur on one side of the body, or both sides of the body. Symptoms include movement disorders, difficulty walking (ataxia), trouble eating (dysphagia), speech problems (dysarthria), disturbed vision, seizures, constipation, drooling, and urinary incontinence.
Treating Cerebral Palsy or Treatment of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy cannot be cured. The goal of treatment is to prevent complications and to maximize the individual’s ability to perform activities of daily living. Strength training with physical therapist ensures optimal function of muscle and improves physical endurance. Occupational therapy assists the person who suffers from cerebral palsy with alternative methods for performing day to day activities. An occupational therapist can also help the individual get set up with any assistive devices that may provide additional independence. Assistive devices include specialized wheelchairs, customized beds, ramps around the home, grab bars in the bathroom, special showers, custom eating utensils. Speech therapy helps improve the strength of the muscles in the mouth and throat to improve speech and swallowing skills. In addition, specific medications and behavioral therapy are among some of the treatment options available for this condition. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) improves blood flow to the brain by stimulating the permanent growth of new blood vessels (angiogenesis). Increased blood flow to the brain results in reduced inflammation and improvement of impulse conduction between cells. Treatment with high levels of oxygen that are provided by HBOT help improve muscle spasticity by reducing muscle inflammation and tightness. Reduction in inflammation results in greater mobility and strength which provides the endurance to enjoy life.