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Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy is a disorder of the brain caused by any insult during pari-natal period. It may be caused by lack of oxygen or trauma during birth or infection jaundice, genetic disorders before or after birth.

The cell injury also leads to an inflammatory immune response that increases the release of chemicals leading to cell damage and swelling. The cell breaks up into smaller fragments so that phagocytes can then ingest the remains. Lack of cerebral blood flow and oxygen can result into series of ailments.

This is the flow of events that can result from the lack of cerebral blood flow and oxygen.

The causes of this ischemia/hpoxia scenario can include traumatic brain injury and blood vessel break or blockage, chemical toxicity, nutritional deficiencies, atherosclerosis, infection, allergies, and hypoglycemia (a deficit of glucose has similar effects on neurons as oxygen deficit), as well as emotional stress. All of these factors promote an excess of glutamate and glutamate is toxic to neural stem cells.

Infants with cerebral palsy are usually slow to reach developmental milestones such as rolling over, sitting, crawling and walking.

Types of cerebral palsy are as follows:
  • Spastic (pyramidal): Increased muscle tone is the defining characteristic of this type. The muscles are stiff (spastic), and movements are jerky or awkward. This type is classified by which part of the body is affected: diplegia (both legs), hemiplegia (one side of the body), or quadriplegia (the entire body). This is the most common type of CP, accounting for about 70-80% of cases.
  • Dyskinetic (extrapyramidal): This includes types that affect coordination of movements. There are 2 subtypes.
    • Athetoid: The person has uncontrolled movements that are slow and writhing. The movements can affect any part of the body, including the face, mouth, and tongue. About 10-20% of cerebral palsy cases fall under this type.
    • Ataxic: This type affects balance and coordination. Depth perception is usually affected. If the person can walk, the gait is probably unsteady. He or she has difficulty with movements that are quick or require a great deal of control, such as writing. About 5-10% of cases of cerebral palsy fall under this type.
  • Mixed: This is a mixture of different types of cerebral palsy. A common combination is spastic and athetoid.
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