Cerebral Palsy is a non-progressive movement disorder that is mostly likely a result of injury to the brain due to trauma or lack of oxygen. In some cases, it can be due to a genetic condition and sometimes the cause is unknown. The diagnosis is usually made by 2 years of age and can be confirmed with imaging studies such as an MRI. Other findings include, but are not limited to, motor skill delay, increased or decreased muscle tone, and increased or decreased reflexes. Many patients can also suffer from vision or hearing impairment, seizures, learning and behavioral problems.
Subtypes of Cerebral palsy include: spastic, hypotonic, athetoid, dystonic, and ataxic. The location and extent of brain insult determines severity of the movement disorder involving one or more extremities, ranging from monoplegia, diplegia, hemiplegia, triplegia, to quadriplegia.
Many treatments modalities are in place to promote maximum mobility potential. These include muscle relaxants, occupational and physical therapies, intrathecal (spinal) baclofen pumps, Botox injections, and selective dorsal rhizotomy (a surgical procedure). The management of Cerebral Palsy is a lifetime journey and requires a multidisciplinary approach.
Due to the variability that is seen between patients with CP, understanding what is best for your child can be challenging, but the staff at NNP can help you navigate the myriad of options for him/her. We will create a care plan that will optimize your child’s physical potential and, where necessary, employ a team approach physicians from other disciplines in the setting of the Spasticity and Movement Disorder’s Clinic at Nicklaus Children’s Brain Institute.
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