Cerebral Palsy Causes

Cerebral palsy causes are not distinct explanations why this disease occurs rather describing the possibilities of its commencement.


Cerebral palsy is an aberration of motor functions, in contrary to mental functions, and postural attitude that is attained at a young age, even earlier than birth. Manifestations of this condition typically reveal in the first year of existence.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

People always think of the question, “What is cerebral palsy?” when people hear the words “cerebral palsy.” This is an irregularity in the motor functions as a result of brain damage or lesions. Unlike other diseases, cerebral palsy is non-progressive, which means it does not progress to become severe illness over time. The motor functions of a human body supplies the capability to move and direct movements. Brain lesions are any irregularities in the brain components or functions. The lesions do not create an ongoing deterioration of the brain tissue. It also means that the lesions of the brain are caused by several brain damage due to trauma and other conditions. Whatever the brain damage that happened at the point of injury will reflect the extent of damage the child will experience for the rest of his life.

Cerebral palsy occurs to just about one to three children out of a thousand born children. Nevertheless, the cases are much higher in newborns with low birth weight and in premature neonates. Interestingly, innovative treatment modalities have raised the rate of survival of premature neonates and infants with low birth weight. The rate of this condition in children born with normal weight and born full term weren’t improved in spite the advent of new technologies.

What is Cerebral Palsy Causes?

The disease does not specify the cerebral palsy causes or prognosis of a patient with this conditin. There are various probable causes of this condition. In full term babies, the cause of this condition is typically associated with the prenatal periods of the pregnancy. The time of the baby’s delivery is not related to the occurrence of the disease. In most cases, it is linked to proceedings occurred during the pregnancy or while the unborn child is growing inside the uterus of the mother.

Prematurity is a contributory factor for this disease. A high risk of bleeding incidence is evident to premature babies due to their immature brain structures. When this bleeding is severe enough, it may lead to cerebral palsy. Infants that were prematurely born can also have severe respiratory distress. This condition takes place because of the immature lungs of the infants.

Hypoxemia can further lead to episodes of brain hypoxia or decrease of oxygen supply to the brain that may cause cerebral palsy. Periventricular leukomalacia can occur in the brain of premature neonates. This is a disease characterized by the presence of fissure in the white matter of the brain. White matter is the structure responsible to relay and to process signals transmitted from various areas of the body to different parts of the brain and vice-verse. Other cerebral palsy causes involve genetic disorders, stroke attacks, and infections concerning the brain. A neonate can also have neonatal encephalopathy before having this condition. Neonatal encephalopathy is characterized by irritability, seizures, respiratory problems, feeding difficulties, lethargy, and even coma.
In rare cases, accidents during difficult deliveries, such as forceps delivery, ca cause brain injury and give rise to cerebral palsy. Child exploitation during the early years of life can result in particular brain damage which, sequentially, causes cerebral palsy.

What are the Types of CP?

Based on the motor impairment forum, this condition is divided into four types. The four types were identified as spastic CP, hypotonic CP, choreoathetoid CP, and mixed type.

Spastic CP refers to a state wherein the muscle tone is augmented, resulting in a stiff posture in two or more extremities (arms and legs). This stiffness may be relieved by applying force that can give the patient a jackknife pain sensation. This manifestation can lead to movement limitations especially for the affected extremities. The stiffness occurs frequently on one region of the body, termed as hemiparesis. Moreover, this can also occur in the four extremities of the patient, termed as quadriparesis. Aside from the augmented muscle tone, the patient may also have hyperactive DTF or deep tendon reflex, impaired gross and fine motor skills, fatigability, and muscle weakness.

Choreoathetoid CP is linked with uncontrollable, writhing, irregular movements of the legs or arms. In contrary with spasctic CP, patients with this type of condition have uneven muscle tone and frequently with reduced muscle tone or hypotonia. This type of cerebral palsy causes irregular movements that are triggered by stress and as well as by common emotional responses such as giggling. Patients with hypotonic CP have a severe decrease in muscle tone. The child or infant appears very flaccid. These infants can’t control their head when they are placed in a sitting position. The mixed CP is obviously a mixture of different types of cerebral palsy. This type has multiple cerebral palsy symptoms with a mishmash of several types of CP.

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