Many of us know the term cerebral palsy(cp) refers to neurological conditions affecting one’s posture, movements, speech and muscle coordination. Some people may even recognize the common cerebral palsy symptoms but the fact is that cerebral palsy can be caused by a wide range of events and the symptoms can be just as diverse. To be more informed about cerebral palsy causes and symptoms is important in the possible prevention of this condition.
There are various types of cerebral palsy so there are many symptoms that will show in some people with the condition but not in others.
Very generally speaking cerebral palsy affects the tone and flexibility of the person’s muscles. This could make their muscles incredibly tight or the complete opposite, incredibly loose. Either way the muscles and joints are hard to control and are often subject to involuntary spasms or movements. Movement can become decreased as the person gets older and involuntary movements are often more severe if the person is under stress or pressure.
Some forms of cerebral palsy result in minor or severe learning disabilities for those affected. It is just as important to know that there are many people with cerebral palsy who are much more intelligent that an average person. Their condition can be incredibly frustrating as their highly intelligent brain wants their body to complete functions that it simply will never be able to.
Those affected by cerebral palsy often have difficulty with speech, hearing and vision. They can also experience involuntary facial movements or grimaces and drooling is another common symptom many with the condition experience.
Cerebral Palsy Causes
There is no one cause of cp; instead we need to be aware of all of the possible causes – or at least the most prevalent ones to begin with.
While a child is still in the womb it relies on his mother for nutrients and supply of oxygen to the brain. If these nutrients are compromised or are replaced with harmful substances then the baby’s brain development can be affected. When a mother is carrying multiple babies there is also a risk of lack of nutrients to one of the fetus which poses a risk of cerebral palsy.
Certain medication, low levels of iodine and exposure to mercury are all known to pose a risk of cp to an unborn child. If the mother is to experience an infection that is transmitted to the baby this would also have serious health risks for the baby as well as put him at risk of developing cp. Expectant mothers need to be incredibly vigilant about their health and safety while carrying a child.
Physical harm to an expectant mother, particularly in her abdomen, is likely to cause injury to her unborn child as well. Serious harm could result in damage to the baby’s brain which can lead to cerebral palsy as well as several other serious neurological conditions.
Once a baby is born they are very fragile and completely at the mercy of those who care for them. Parents, caregivers, family and medical staff are all responsible for carefully caring for this precious new life. Trauma or negligence during childbirth or up to the first two years of a child’s life could result in damage to the brain which could lead to cp.
By learning and understanding these cp symptoms as well as cp causes we may be able to prevent it from occurring in some cases, and help others already diagnosed with more understanding and compassion.