So, What Really Is Cerebral Palsy?

Since March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, I thought I should write a few articles about what Cerebral Palsy (CP) is, and some ways it affects myself and other individuals. Most of this information came from United Cerebral Palsy San Diego. I hope this teaches you something!


So, what really is CP and what causes it?

The term itself is really an umbrella term, but it does actually have a meaning. “Cerebral” is referring to the brain, and “Palsy” refers to muscle weakness/ poor control. The most common causes of CP are a lack of oxygen flow to the brain, prematurity, an accident before, during, or after birth, and so on. Most cases of CP occur while in the womb and can be diagnose right after birth, and other cases will not be diagnosed until months after a baby is born.

How common is CP?

I have always joked that individuals who have Cerebral Palsy could make up a little country. (as someone who has CP, I'm allowed to make those types of jokes.) According to United Cerebral Palsy San Diego, "It is estimated that some 764,000 children and adults in the United States manifest one or more of the symptoms of cerebral palsy. Currently, about 8,000 babies and infants are diagnosed with the condition each year. In addition, some 1,200 - 1,500 preschool age children are recognized each year to have cerebral palsy. "

Are there different types of CP?

There are five types of CP, but today doctors classify the disorder into three subcategories — spastic, athetoid, and ataxic, a fourth category can be a mix of all three. These categories are based on how much an individual can or cannot move.

Spastic — affects 70-80 percent of individuals causing muscles contract and stiffen. Usually, doctors will diagnose what type of spastic CP their patients have based off of which side of their body, or which limbs are mostly affected. For example, spastic diplegia means that both of the individual's legs are impacted, or left hemiparesis which means the entire left side of the body of the body is impacted.

Athetoid (dyskinetic) characterized by its slow uncontrolled movements, Athetoid cerebral palsy affects about 10 to 20 percent of patients. These movements usually body parts such as the hands, arms, and legs. In some cases, the muscles of the face and tongue can also be impacted, which results in the individual grimacing or drooling. Individuals who have this type of CP, may also Patients may also have problems coordinating the muscle movements needed for speech, a condition known as dysarthria.

Ataxic This type of CP is rarer than the others it only affects 5-10 percent of individuals who are diagnosed with the disorder. A person's sense of balance and depth perception can be greatly impacted. In addition, these individuals may have trouble doing activities of daily living such as buttoning buttons on a shirt. They may also have an intention tremor. This is exactly as it sounds. An intention tremor occurs when an individual reaches for an object or does something as simple as turning a page in a book. When their desired page, or object is reached, then the tremor or shaking intensifies.

Mixed forms In some cases, an individual can have a mixture of two types of CP, the most common are a combination of spasticity and athetoid movements, but it is possible to have a combination of any of the three types mentioned.

How does CP affect everyone differently?

Remember, there are many types and it affects no two people the same way. Two people can both have spastic cerebral palsy, and different areas of their bodies can be affected. One person may be more functioning than another person, but could have an issue with their speech.

Can it be prevented?

According to United Cerebral Palsy San Diego, "Preventive programs are directed towards the prevention of prematurity; reducing exposure of pregnant women to virus and other infections; recognition and treatment of bacterial infection of the maternal reproductive and urinary tracts; avoiding unnecessary exposure to X-rays, drugs and medications; and the control of diabetes, anemia and nutritional deficiencies. Of great importance are optimal well being prior to conception, adequate prenatal care, and protecting infants from accidents or injury. "

Is there a cure?

As of now, there is no cure for Cerebral Palsy. Going to OT, PT, and Speech can help manage cognition, language, and build up strength in muscles, and work on some defciencies mentioned above in the types of Cerebral Palsy.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B just dropped the hottest summer single yet. It's called "WAP" and we're going to get into all the intoxicating lyrics.

This song empowers females and their sexuality. These women put the ridiculous music industry female beef to bed, and I mean tucked away in a coma.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.

NBC

From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments