What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy, also known as CP in short, is a disorder which affects the body movements and posture of your child. It is a permanent disorder and does not go away although its effect on the child and family can be reduced with proper care. It does not progress and with care, the problems improve.
What causes cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy results from brain damage occurring in a baby or young child before or during the birth, or after birth till the first 2 years of life. The damage affects the messages being received by and sent from the brain, as well as the way in which the brain interprets the messages it receives.
Do they have any other problem also?
Children with cerebral palsy are commonly seen to have some other problems also like, problems in seeing, hearing, speech, feeding, constipation and learning. They may also suffer from fits (epilepsy). As they cannot move around as freely as other children, the way they experience people and things around them is different from normal children.
Is there a cure for cerebral palsy?
The damage to the brain in cerebral palsy is permanent and so there is no permanent cure. But a child’s brain has capacity to grow and modify itself with training. So, with proper care and training, the other areas of the brain try to adjust for the missing functions and hence, they improve. The damage does not progress but child may appear to become worse if there are other associated problems like repeated fits, infections, poor nutrition etc.
Is cerebral palsy genetic?
Cerebral palsy occurs as a result of brain injury. It is not passed on genetically, and it is not contagious. Though genetic factors can play a part in causing cerebral palsy in a child, this does not mean that every child in your family will face similar challenges.
Can the mother take a test during pregnancy to determine if their next baby has cerebral palsy?
No, there are no such tests. A pregnant mother should tell her doctor about the previous child, get the cause of cerebral palsy evaluated and carry the pregnancy under proper supervision and care.
What is the life expectancy of someone with cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy is not a terminal disease. Children often go to schools and colleges. Each child is affected differently and the disability depends on the severity of underlying damage. But the children may be more prone to life threatening complications if there is uncontrolled epilepsy or severe respiratory infections.
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