Cerebral palsy symptoms are very significant in determining the type of cerebral palsy a patient has.
The manifestations of CP are typically barely discernible in the early years of life. They may become evident as the nervous system of the patient matures. These symptoms may not progress into fatal manifestations but they can cause incapacitating effects to the patient.
What are Cerebral Palsy Symptoms?
Cerebral palsy symptoms may differ in every patient. However, there are several manifestations that are evident for most patients with this disease. There are set of symptoms that appear during the early incidence of the disease. The early manifestations of cerebral palsy involve the following:
• Late developmental milestones such as rolling over, head control, reaching one hand to another, walking, crawling, and sitting with no support
• Persistent primitive or infantile reflexes, which typically disappear three to six months subsequent to birth or delivery
• Developing handedness prior to reaching the legal age, which implies weakness or irregular muscle tone on one portion of the body
Difficulties and incapacities related to cerebral palsy range from mild to severe manifestations. The severity of symptoms indicates the severity of the damage inside the brain. They may be understated, only evident to health care professionals, or might be noticeable to the guardians of the child.
• Irregular muscle tones. Muscles can be very rigid or uncommonly floppy and relaxed. Extremities can be held in an awkward or unusual position such as a scissor-like posture.
• Atypical movements. Activities can be abnormally abrupt or jerky, or writhing and slow. These symptoms appear without purpose or uncontrollable.
• Skeletal malformations. Patients who have CP on only one portion. These parts can have shortened extremities on the involved area. If not corrected by a device or surgery, this may lead to the tilting of the pelvis and problems on the curvature of the spine (scoliosis).
• Joint contractures. Patients with spastic CP can have severe rigidity of joints due to the misalignment of joints put forth by irregular muscle strength or tone.
• Mental disabilities. Some patients with cerebral palsy causes are influenced by mental retardation. In general, the severity of retardation is directly proportionate to the severity of the patient’s incapacities.
• Seizures. This condition can appear in the early years or life subsequent to the occurrence of brain trauma, which causes CP. The physical manifestations of this condition can be partially shrouded by the irregular actions of the patient with CP.
• Speech problems. Verbalization difficulties are partially controlled by activities of muscles of the throat (See: Throat cancer symptoms), tongue, and mouth. Several children with this condition are not able to manage the mentioned muscles thus, can’t speak or verbalize normally.
• Dysphagia. Difficulty in swallowing is also manifested in patients with CP because swallowing entails a precise reaction of various muscle groups. Individuals with CP are not able to manage these muscles. They will have problems in eating, sucking, controlling their saliva, and drinking. These patients have a high risk for aspiration incidence wherein the ingested substances enter the lungs rather the stomach (See: Stomach cancer symptoms).
• Other cerebral palsy symptoms include visual problems, dental malformations and cavities, bladder and bowel control problems, and hearing loss.
What is Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis?
If the patient has difficulties that indicate the occurrence of CP, he should undergo a thorough assessment. There is no diagnostic examination that confirms the occurrence of CP. The diagnosis is performed on using the several types of data collected by the health care professional of the patient.
This data involves a comprehensive medical interview about the medical history of both parents. The patient will be suggested to narrate in detail about the medical problems concerning physical and mental development of the child. The parents may be asked other queries as well. It is very essential to response all the queries as completely as possible.
Laboratory examinations will also be included in the diagnostic procedures for cerebral palsy such as urine and blood tests to rule other diseases. Other diagnostic examinations are imaging tests. These tests supply an image of structures within the body. Such exams, when utilized on the spinal cord or brain, are frequently termed as neuro-imaging. The results of these tests will give the physician an idea of the extent of damage the condition has done in the brain. These examinations involve CT scan, ultrasound, and MRI of the brain and spinal cord.
What are the Treatments for Cerebral Palsy?
Seizure medications are given to treat the cerebral palsy symptoms, obviously, seizure. The management depends on the frequency and type of seizure the patient has. Medications for rigidity should also be given to manage the rigidity among the extremities of the patient. The most typical medications for this manifestation are diazepam and dantrolene sodium. Botulinum toxins are also administered through an intramuscular route to relax the child’s muscles. Surgeries are performed to control the spasticity of the child. A tendon release surgery is done, typically executed by an orthopedic surgeon. Other treatment interventions involve several therapies such as physical, speech, and occupational therapies.
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