- Disorder of posture and movements - Cerebral palsy affects the brain (cerebrum) which controls the body parts. Therefore, the child will have difficulties in maintaining his body posture (sitting or standing). Apart from that,the child might experienced difficulties in body movements like eating,walking or sitting, depending upon the severity of the disease. Other than that,the child might have abnormal involuntary movements of the limbs. The limbs are usually spastic in majority of the cases.
- Non Progressive - Everyone should know that cerebral palsy (CP) is a non progressive disease once it is acquired. The disability that the child have will remain the same and the disease process is static. Unfortunately,there is no cure for CP. The only management for this child is supportive management in terms of moral support, physical support, vocational training and orthopaedics intervention like splints or surgery.
- Not necessary unchanging - Though CP is a non progressive disease, yet the disease process can change. For example, a child born with CP and later on,the baby developed jaundice which leads to kernicterus. This will worsen the symptoms of CP that the baby acquired before.
- Acquired during the period of rapid development of the brain - CP occured due to insult to the brain (hypoxia/lack of oxygen),mainly during the rapid development of the brain. The insult can occur during pre-natal period (before delivery/pregnancy) for example,microcephaly or porencephaly. The insult also can occur during natal period (delivery of the baby) like obstructed and prolonged labour. Lastly,insult can occured during post-natal period (after delivery), for example kernicterus or hypoglycaemia.
- Associated with other co-morbidities - CP usually accompanied by other co-morbidities (disabilities). For example,a CP child usually have difficulty in hearing and speaking. Identification of these co - morbidities are important in the management later.
The definition of CP per se can describe the disease as whole. I would like to thank Dr. Mahesh Kamte,Peadiatrician in KLE Hospital,Belgaum who tought me CNS in Peadiatric,and give me this wonderful definition regarding CP.
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