Causes of Cerebral Palsy
What are Some of the Causes Cerebral Palsy?
Simply put, brain damage causes cerebral palsy. The brain damage can occur before, during or after birth. Most cases of brain damage causing cerebral palsy occur before a baby is born.
Cerebral palsy is a term used to describe a group of disorders characterized by a disruption of motor control . When areas of the brain responsible for movement, balance and muscular control either develop incorrectly or are damaged, the result can be cerebral palsy. The part of the brain damaged determines the symptoms of cerebral palsy. The severity of the symptoms depends on the severity of the brain damage. Sometimes brain damage occurs early in the pregnancy as a result of problems with blood supply to the fetus’ brain. Sometimes damage occurs later in pregnancy after the brain has already formed, as the child is delivered or in the first years of life. How brain damage occurs is not always known. Doctors have identified several risk factors for cerebral palsy . Expectant mothers should avoid these risk factors to lower the possibility of having a child with cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy can be the result of natural causes or birth trauma. In either case, the baby’s brain is starved of oxygen. This results in a specific type of damage to the brain. It is permanent and involves control of the muscles, and can also include some other effects. Cerebral palsy can be difficult to recognize in infants. The symptoms are very physical, and since an infant isn’t immediately taxing their muscles, it sometimes takes a while before it’s obvious that there’s a problem. Cerebral palsy can affect all of the muscles, from the face to the feet.
Dyskinetic cerebral palsy is the type that affects the entire body. In total, around 20 percent of people who suffer from cerebral palsy have this type. It affects the way the muscles tense and relax, and can result in problems opening and closing the hands, moving the arms and even cause problems controlling the muscles in the face. This type of cerebral palsy can make a lot of healthcare necessary, which may be required from birth throughout the rest of the sufferer’s life.
Ataxic cerebral palsy causes adverse effects in around 10 percent of cp sufferers.. In this incarnation, the symptoms are most visible in the sufferer’s walk. Ataxic cerebral palsy causes a lot of difficulty with walking and balance. Either of these types of cerebral palsy can be caused by baby brain damage. In some cases, sufferer’s may have multiple types of cerebral palsy, making the symptoms and the treatment required even more pronounced. No type of cerebral palsy is curable. Brain damage is permanent. Unlike as is the case with most other areas of the body, the brain cannot recover from most types of damage. This means that you and your child will inevitably be faced with the costs of treatment for this disorder.
When a healthcare provider takes you on as a patient, they have a duty to see to your well being to the best of their abilities. When they breech this duty, you have legal recourse available to you. A good attorney with experience dealing with cerebral palsy in infants may be your best option. You may have a case that could result in your receiving financial compensation for your pain and suffering, as well as for any monetary damages you claim. The sooner you get started, the better for your case.
Risk Factors for Cerebral Palsy
German Measles – Doctors in the 1950’s discovered contracting the German measles while pregnant could result in having a child with cerebral palsy. After an initial outbreak of the disease resulted in over 20,000 cerebral palsy births, doctors began inoculating expectant mothers. The result was an immediate decline in cerebral palsy births. German measles, or rubella, is a virus. After infecting the mother, the viral infection travels to the uterus and infects the fetus. The virus damages the fetus’ developing central nervous system. Other viral infections like toxoplasmosis and cytomegalovirus can cause the same problems.
Rh Disease – Rh disease is a condition caused by the baby and mother having incompatible blood cells. The mother’s body senses a foreign threat in the body and erroneously attempts to eliminate it. The mother produces antibodies to destroy the blood cells of the fetus. The fetus can become severely jaundiced and brain damaged as a result. Blood clotting can increase the risk of Rh disease. Doctors can now prevent Rh disease by identifying it before the 28th week of pregnancy. A blood product called Rh immunoglobulin is given to the Rh negative mother at the 28th week of pregnancy and right before the baby is born.
Insufficient Oxygenation – Proper oxygenation is needed for the brain to develop normally. Alcohol or drug abuse by the mother can cause brain damage in a developing fetus by inhibiting oxygen needed for normal brain development. The placenta supplies blood to the fetus. If the placenta tears or clots, blood supply bringing needed oxygen to the fetus can be compromised and result in brain damage as well.
Causes of Cerebral Palsy After Birth
Brain damage occurring after birth results in about fifteen percent of cerebral palsy cases. Occasionally, brain damage occurs from asphyxia, or suffocation, during difficult labor or delivery. More often, brain damage causing cerebral palsy occurs from factors not related to the birthing process.
If not present at birth, cerebral palsy is most likely acquired in the first few years of life. Brain infections like bacterial meningitis or viral encephalitis can result in cerebral palsy. Brain damage in children is often caused by head injuries from car accidents , falls or child abuse . Severe, untreated jaundice can cause brain damage. Bile pigments in the blood stream leftover from blood cells destruction build up and damage brain cells.
How a Lawyer May be Able to Help
Cerebral palsy can put incredible strain on a family. Sometimes, however, you shouldn’t have to struggle with cerebral palsy on your own. A cerebral palsy lawyer can help you identify legal issues with your medical problems in a free, no-obligation consultation or phone call. If a doctor or hospital is at fault for the harm done to your family, you deserve to be compensated. The assistance of a qualified cerebral palsy lawyer can defend your rights and help your family through this difficult time.