Cerebral palsy refers to a set of disorders which have a direct impact on the nervous system and the brain and affect the ability to learn, hear, see, think and move. There are several different types of cerebral palsy which include dyskinetic ataxic, spastic, hypotonic and mixed forms.
In most cases cerebral palsy is attributed to injury or abnormality in the brain which usually occurs when the baby is growing in the womb.
Experts suggest that cerebral palsy is attributed to brain injury which is caused due to hypoxia (i.e. low levels of oxygen concentration). In most cases, the cause of hypoxia is not clearly understood. There are certain risk factors that have been identified which include,
- Internal bleeding within the brain
- Infection in the brain including meningitis and encephalitis
- Severe jaundice
- Maternal infections during pregnancy like rubella.
Symptoms Of Cerebral Palsy
The symptoms of cerebral palsy may range from mild to very severe, depending upon the causative factor. Further the condition may affect either only one part or both parts of the body.
In general the symptoms usually appear after two years of age, however in some cases the symptoms may start manifesting as early as three months. The parents may start noticing symptoms like delay in reaching out or delay in developmental stages like rolling, crawling or walking. In most cases, the symptoms may depend upon the type of cerebral palsy, however some of the common symptoms observed include,
- Unsteady gait
- Abnormal movements in the form of jerking, twisting and twitching of arms, legs, hands and feet. These symptoms are observed when the child is awake and worsen with stress.
- Generalized weakness of muscles with complete or partial paralysis of affected parts
- The muscles appear floppy and the joints seem too flexible
- Symptoms related to the brain and the nervous system include speech problems, hearing and vision problems, seizures, decreased intelligence with learning disabilities
- Gastrointestinal symptoms include difficulty in sucking or chewing or swallowing. In some cases, recurrent vomiting along with constipation may also be observed.
- Other general symptoms include urinary incontinence, irregular breathing patterns, drooling and slower growth.
Natural Remedies For Cerebral Palsy
There is no cure for cerebral palsy and the focus of the treatment regimen is to help the person be as much independent as possible. Here are some home based care tips for children with cerebral palsy,
- Ensure that the child gets proper nutrition. Ensure a fiber rich diet along with adequate intake of fluids. Use laxatives whenever necessary.
- Performing regular exercises is essential to keep the joints intact and healthy. Ensure that the home and surroundings are safe. Regular physical and occupational therapy sessions are helpful.
- Help the child use simple devices like glasses, hearing aids, walking aids, etc to allow him/her to become as independent as possible.
- Homeopathic drug namely Gelsimium is considered useful in improving muscular coordination. This medicine needs to be taken in low potency and repeated about three times a day.
Cerebral palsy support group participation is important to help the parents or guardians understand the wards limitations and help them connect with others having similar problems.