My brother’s death and complications in his short life due to defects with Cerebral Palsy and Spina Bifida caused my family to develop a sense of empathy with families that have children with disabilities especially Cerebral Palsy. Mental and Physical disabilities effect over 20 million families in the world, with every 4 Per 1,000 live births being born with Cerebral Palsy. In this essay on Cerebral Palsy you will learn more about the disorder and how the disability itself directly affected my family.
Cerebral Palsy is a disorder of the nervous system. Cerebral means brain and palsy means movement or posture disorder. Cerebral Palsy is a loss of communication between the brain and the body that results in uncontrolled movements, brain damage, and posturing. Cerebral Palsy is also known for its paralysis, that is non-inspired coordination between the muscles and the brain due loss of motor functions resulted from brain injuries or birth trauma. Children that suffer with Cerebral Palsy cannot walk, talk, eat, and play as other children. When a person acquires Cerebral Palsy permanent brain injuries happen during pregnancy or at the time of birth. However, Cerebral Palsy can be diagnosed later in life due to physical injuries. Therefore, it is imperative to have your children wear the proper protective equipment when doing physical activities such riding a bike or skating because a severe enough fall can cause Cerebral Palsy.
The exact causes of Cerebral Palsy are still unknown in the medical world, but several different causes have been linked to the disability, but it cannot be linked to one specific. Most common causes that have been noted are infections during pregnancy, low blood oxygen levels, problems during the pregnancy with the placenta, and genetic abnormalities.
Preventable Causes are head injuries, Jaundice, Rh Incompatibility, Rubella.
There are several causes of Cerebral Palsy that have been identified through research, they are all treatable and preventable. It is recommended that before getting pregnant women should receive the recommended vaccinations especially for Rubella. Also, women should receive testing to identify their blood type and if incompatible, the woman should receive a shot of RhO- Gam so that the antibodies will not attack the baby’s blood. Women should also avoid any accidents, sudden movements, or falling while pregnant. Several tests can detect cerebral Palsy however, the most commonly used are CT and MRI Scan’s.
Types of Cerebral Palsy are Spastic, Dyskinetic, Dystonic, Athetoid, Hypotonic, and Mixed. Spastic is the most common type of Cerebral Palsy; these are uncontrollable muscle movement or stiffness. Dyskinetic is broken up into two-parts which are Athetoid and Dystonic. Athetoid Cerebral Palsy is known as slow involuntary movements. Dystonic only effects the limb muscles resulting in twisted posture. Ataxic is voluntary muscle movements that are not coordinated. Hypotonic is when muscle density is decreased and causes them to be floppy. Mixed is a combination of any of the above types.
There is no cure for Cerebral Palsy but there are several treatments that can help improve the quality of life for Cerebral Palsy Patients. Assisted treatment examples are eye glasses, hearing aides, leg and arm braces, and wheel chairs . Botox injections may help them with drooling, muscle relaxation, and stimulation. In some cases, major surgery may be required for joint construction and feeding. Which means placing feeding tubes in their bodies to help them eat.
The main types of treatment include Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, Social Service Consultations, Occupational Therapy. These treatments teach patients to learn different tasks and adapt to real life situations.
Lastly, I chose this topic because it is near and dear to me. My brother was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at birth. My mother explained to us that she had a severe car crash while pregnant with him. She went to the emergency room where they gave her clearance to leave the hospital. Supposedly, he was unharmed but when my mother was rushed to the hospital the next week for an emergency C- Section, she learned that he was born with Spina Bifida and Cerebral Palsy. My brother died from complications of Cerebral Palsy at the young age of three. Any chance I get to inform people of the disorder, I take it. Mainly because this disorder is 100 percent preventable.