Symptoms, Types, Diagnosis and Treatment Methods of Cerebral Palsy Disease
Fainting, which is a loss of consciousness caused by reduced blood flow to the brain, can occur due to simpler reasons such as fatigue, as well as serious health problems. Anadolu Health Center Child Neurology Specialist Assoc. Prof. stated that as the patient lies down during fainting, the blood flow to the brain increases and consciousness regains more quickly. Dr. Sinan Çomu: “With this feature, fainting is like an insurance for the brain. If a fainting patient or child is held upright to prevent them from falling, blood flow will become more difficult and may cause conditions such as convulsions and rolling eyes. Therefore, the patient should be placed in a supine position. Additionally, fainting may be a symptom of anemia, debility due to chronic disease, or some serious psychological conditions. “When the first fainting occurs, a pediatrician, cardiologist or pediatric neurologist should evaluate it,” he said. Assoc. Dr. Sinan Çomu gave important information on the subject…
What is Cerebral Palsy Disease?
The word cerebral means brain. Palsy refers to difficulty or weakness in movement. Cerebral palsy is used to describe a group of disorders that affect movement and coordination abilities. In many cases of cerebral palsy, in addition to these abilities, vision, hearing and various other sensory aspects are also impaired. Since cerebral palsy is seen in approximately 1-4 of every thousand children in the world, it is very important to be aware of this disorder.
What are the symptoms of cerebral palsy?
Symptoms of cerebral palsy may vary depending on the form and course of the disease. While some forms of the disease may show a regression in the course of the disease, some forms may have a more severe course. What complaints will occur depends on the affected brain area. While some patients with cerebral palsy have problems with walking and sitting, in some individuals, actions such as holding objects are quite difficult.
The symptoms that may occur in cerebral palsy can be generally summarized as follows:
- Delay in motor skills such as rolling over, standing up without support, or crawling
- Muscle tone is too stiff or too loose
- speech delay
- Ataxia (loss of muscle coordination)
- Tremor or involuntary movements
- Excessive drooling and problems with swallowing
- difficulty walking
- Tendency to use one side of the body, such as reaching with one hand
- Presence of neurological problems such as seizures, cognitive disability, or blindness
In many children born with cerebral palsy, the symptoms of the disease may occur months or years later, but in many cases the disease manifests itself by the age of 3-4.
What are the Types of Cerebral Palsy Disease?
Cerebral palsy disease is examined by dividing it into four main groups. The subgroups of cerebral palsy, which are examined in four groups as spastic, athetoid (dyskinetic), ataxic and hypotonic, have many different aspects.
Spastic Cerebral Palsy
Spastic cerebral palsy is a disorder that is examined under three different headings. In the hemiplegic class of this type of cerebral palsy, which is divided into spastic hemiplegic, spastic diplegic and spastic quadriplegic; There is stiffness or spasticity in the muscles in a part of the child’s body. Leg involvement may also be seen in some cases of spastic hemiplegic cerebral palsy, where one arm and one hand are usually affected. There is often a developmental problem on the affected side. In this type of cerebral palsy, where speech-related problems may also be present, although intelligence is not affected, caution should be exercised as there may be a tendency to develop seizures.
In spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, the lower extremity is affected, and there is either no or very little involvement in the upper extremity. Hip and leg muscles contract harshly in this type of cerebral palsy. It often becomes more difficult for patients to walk because their legs are crossed in front of the knee.
In cases of spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, which is another type of spastic cerebral palsy, both the lower and upper extremities are affected. In some individuals with quadriplegic cerebral palsy, the most severe form of spastic cerebral palsy, intelligence is also slightly negatively affected. Spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy patients, where seizures may occur, have difficulty in activities such as walking and speaking.
Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy
This type of cerebral palsy, also known as the athetoid dyskinetic type, is the second most common form of the disease. In these individuals, intelligence is generally normal and all muscles of the body are involved. Involuntary and random body movements may occur in individuals due to weak or tight muscle tone.
Children with dyskinetic cerebral palsy have difficulty performing activities such as walking, sitting, maintaining body posture, speaking clearly and adjusting the tone of voice. In cases where facial muscles are also involved, problems such as drooling may occur.
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
In the ataxic type of cerebral palsy, balance and coordination are severely affected. It is very difficult for individuals with ataxic cerebral palsy to perform actions that require fine motor skills, such as tying laces, buttoning a shirt, or using scissors. Problems with balance make it difficult for the child to walk. Speech may be unclear in some individuals with ataxic cerebral palsy, who usually have normal intelligence and good communication skills.
Hypotonic Cerebral Palsy
Hypotonic cerebral palsy is a type of cerebral palsy that occurs as a result of damage to the cerebellum. Muscle-related problems begin to manifest themselves earlier in these cases. The muscles in the head and body of babies with hypotonic cerebral palsy are very loose. They can very weakly resist their parents moving their arms and legs. Care should be taken as breathing problems may also occur in these individuals.
What are the Causes and Effects of Cerebral Palsy Disease?
Cerebral palsy is a condition caused by abnormalities that occur during brain development or subsequent brain damage. Cerebral palsy, which usually exists before birth, can sometimes occur after birth. Although the underlying cause is not found in many cases of cerebral palsy, the factors thought to be effective in the development of this disorder can be summarized as follows:
- genetic mutations
- maternal infections
- Cutting off blood flow to the brain while in the womb
- Cerebral hemorrhage in the womb
- Neonatal infectious diseases
- Head area traumas
There are various effects that cerebral palsy disease, which occurs due to many different reasons, may have over time:
- Atrophy (wasting) in muscles
- Difficulty swallowing and choking
- Aspiration pneumonia due to food entering the trachea
- Development of pressure sores due to prolonged sitting or lying down
- bladder infections
What are the Diagnostic Methods of Cerebral Palsy Disease?
Various diagnostic methods are used in patients with suspected cerebral palsy. Radiological examinations such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and cranial (head) ultrasonography may be useful in clarifying abnormalities or damage in the brain.
Requesting an electroencephalography (EEG) examination in cerebral palsy cases presenting with seizures may be useful in differentiating epilepsy and cerebral palsy disorders by allowing the electrical activity of the brain to be examined. In addition to these examinations, various laboratory examinations and tests evaluating sensory problems are among the examinations used in the diagnostic approach to cerebral palsy.
What are the Treatment Methods for Cerebral Palsy Disease?
Unfortunately, there is currently no method that can completely cure cerebral palsy. However, complaints that occur during the course of the disease can be controlled with various treatment approaches. In cases diagnosed with cerebral palsy, the type of treatment may vary depending on the needs of the person. The main purpose of treatment is to improve the person’s limits and prevent various effects that may occur during the course of the disease. In this context, assistive equipment for walking, hearing or vision, anti-seizure medications, muscle relaxants, botox, orthopedic surgical interventions and various therapy methods can be used.
Cerebral palsy is a disorder for which early diagnosis and treatment is important. If you observe signs and symptoms of this disorder in your baby or those around you, it is recommended that you contact healthcare institutions and get support from specialist physicians. We wish you healthy days.