One of the most prevalent yet enigmatic
disorders known in the medical world today is cerebral palsy, but hoping to get a glimpse into cerebral palsy
will help people understand why it happens and what can be done to deal with it.
Cerebral paralysis is also known as CP
for short. The condition was discovered by the British surgeon named William Little in 1860. His discovery led
to the study and formulation of theories with regards to asphyxia at birth as the main cause of the problem.
But it was only in 1897 that famed
psychoanalyst and now the Father of Psychology Sigmund Freud pushed for the idea that a difficult birthing is
not the true cause of cerebral paralysis. Then a neurologist, Freud said that the problem may have been a
symptom and an effect of a far more complex problem on foetal development. He was right and the condition is one
of the effects of what is called cerebral palsy.
But despite the years of research and
the ongoing debate on the subject, no one still know even now what exactly causes cerebral palsy. Nothing is
ever certain when it comes to this problem. This is despite the fact that a lot of findings point fingers to
problems caused by a lack of oxygen during foetal development. Some also include exposure to radiation, internal
infection during pregnancy, trauma in the brain during childbirth and delivery as some of the other causes of
However, these are just some of the
causes but are not necessarily the main and primary reasons for cerebral palsy. No less than 50% of all children
born prematurely are believed to develop cerebral palsy upon their delivery. Medical experts believe that
premature infants are vulnerable to cerebral palsy, in part because their organs have not yet fully developed
when they were born, thus increasing the risk of hypoxic injury due to the lack of oxygen circulation to the
brain that is largely responsible for those studied with cerebral palsy.
There are basically three common types
of cerebral palsy, first is the spastic where someone with spastic cerebral palsy does not have the capacity to
relax their muscles or may even be stiff. Next is athetoid, for which those with this type of cerebral palsy
affects the patient’s ability to control their muscles, which is usually characterized by the patient’s hands
and feet fluttering uncontrollably.
And the one with ataxic cerebral palsy
has problems with balance and coordination. Cerebral palsy ranges from mild to severe cases, which may be
characterized by the amount or degree of brain trauma or damage of the patient, however, is not generally
conclusive about the actual cause of cerebral palsy.
Neurologists are the primary
specialists that deal with patients afflicted with cerebral palsy, through which patients are commonly diagnosed
with the analysis and assessment of the patient’s nervous system. For young patients, especially for children
with cerebral palsy, they are most commonly treated by paediatric neurologists.
Treatment for young patients with
cerebral palsy may also undergo therapeutic treatment by a paediatric orthopaedist who will be responsible for
handling problems with joints and bones. This is followed up with treatment from a developmental paediatrician,
who usually monitors how young cerebral palsy patients throughout their developmental stage and by a paediatric
physiatrist who treats children with disabilities.
So basically, this is a good glimpse
into cerebral palsy that may provide us with key and important information regarding cerebral palsy and how to
better understand it.