Cerebral Palsy is a disease related to the impaired motor functioning of the body arising from the damage caused to brain before or after birth. It is, in fact, a group of physical disabilities that affect neurological mobility, weakness or numbness of muscles, muscular spasms, tremors, faulty posture positions, inability to maintain a pose for a small span of time.
It is important to know about the underlying causes that are responsible for the condition.
It is one of the risk factors of the disease. If a child is born prematurely, the chances of him/her being prone to respiratory impairment increase manifold. As upto this stage, his/her lungs have not formed properly, the oxygen supply to the brain gets highly reduced; this results in damage to some part of brain.
The term is used for the loss of oxygen during child birth; this may be attributed to different abnormal conditions inside mother’s body. It may happen sometime that umbilical cord gets struck in front of the birth, thus preventing or delaying the birth and reducing the oxygen supply to infant’s brain. It may also happen that the uterus of the mother gets damaged due to the large size of fetus or other reasons.
Subjection to Infection
Presence of parasites within human body or the transfer of infections from mother to child may also be one of the reasons for the development of Cerebral Palsy. The presence of HIV, cytomegalovirus, and many other parasites affect the normal brain formation of the child.
The fetus remains wrapped in a membrane and keep floating in amniotic fluid all the time during pregnancy; if any of these or the uterus get infection due to some reason or the other, the child’s brain can get damaged and this may result in acquiring Cerebral Palsy. The infections of the placenta, the link by which a child is attached to mother, may also have serious repercussions on brain development and such a child is prone to develop impaired motor activities after birth.
Smoking and Drinking
If the mother smokes or drinks during pregnancy, it may result in severe damage to many organs of the fetus including brain. Those children who are exposed to these unhealthy substances are usually at the risk of developing poor neurological system, weakened muscles, and stunted growth. It has been noticed that the child having FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) later develop Cerebral Palsy.
Exposure to Environmental Pollution
Pregnant mothers, who get exposed to harmful chemical agents like lead, nickel, and other toxins, are at the risk of developing serious mental as well as physical defects. Exposure to toxic toys and other chemical s after birth may also be a responsible for development of Palsy.
Being a Twin
Twins and triplets are at the higher risk of Cerebral Palsy than those born as singletons. The sharing of space and nutrients is the prime reason behind it. Such twins are more venerable to the disease as there may be complications during multiple births; the cases of Cerebral Palsy have been founded more in twin children rather than in single ones. Researches have also shown that the child that is born late than his twin counterpart is more likely to suffer from the damage of brain.
Genes play an important role in this potentially harmful disease. If the poor metabolic genes from parents are manifested in children, the progeny becomes susceptible to the disorder. The families with the cases of Cerebral Palsy have repeated occurrence of the disease in future generations.
The cases of post natal deaths have been reported more in developing and underdeveloped countries while the pre natal deaths due to Palsy have been more reported in developed nations. Also, the lack of proper medical facilities, poor nourishment, and lack of basic necessities of life are the primary reasons for children being at risk of the disease in developing countries. Poverty, infections, poor hygienic factors are also attributed to the relative higher deaths due to the disorder in black people rather than white ones.
The brain damage may occur if the blood groups of the mother and the child are not Rh compatible. This exposes the fetus to the defect.
A majority of infants develop after birth; this is due to the presence of bilrubin in blood; if the level increases too much, brain damage may occur.
It may sound absurd but abuse is one of the risk factors of developing Cerebral Palsy in children. Those who are exposed to some form of sexual or mental abuse may be prone to have the brain haemorrhage.
Head injury, excessive bleeding, labour complications, thyroid, and low weight at the time of birth are also the risk factors for Cerebral Palsy. Several treatment methods care and support from the loved ones can help the patients of Cerebral Palsy to live life better.