It is said that every cerebral palsy (CP) case is different, both in terms of the complications and the associated conditions that someone with the neurological disorder might have. As you may be aware, cerebral palsy is characterized by certain coordination and mobility issues that stem from abnormal brain development or brain damage.

Complications When a Child has Cerebral Palsy

The symptoms tend to vary in severity, but are usually evident within the first two years of a child’s life. In addition to learning, walking and motor skill problems, common CP symptoms include:

  • Irregular posture
  • Limited reflexes
  • Stiff muscles
  • Tremors and involuntary movements

Of course, there’s more to this complex disorder than its symptoms. This guide details the possible complications among children with cerebral palsy, as well as some key facts that parents should know.

Potential Complications of Cerebral Palsy

An individual with CP can face numerous challenges due to the various effects of the disorder. For example, feeling alone or isolated may lead to the development of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. Here are the other possible complications frequently caused by cerebral palsy:

  1. Chonic pain
  2. Osteoarthritis
  3. Premature ageing
  4. Heart and lung diseases
  5. Malnutrition
  6. Scoliosis

The rates of diabetes, joint pain, seizures and stroke are also higher among CP patients. It’s also possible to experience swallowing difficulties and speech problems, along with heart conditions and high blood pressure or hypertension.

Managing Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy

While the aforementioned complications can be disconcerting, there is a silver lining. To start, cerebral palsy doesn’t get worse with age as it’s not a degenerative disease. An effective treatment program and occasional surgery often results in improvements in symptoms. The most suitable solutions depend on the individual circumstances of the child.

If speech and swallowing are primary concerns, for instance, then the appropriate therapy will apply. You might also look into products like SimplyThick instant gel to make food easier and safer to eat. Food thickeners like these not only minimize the risk of choking, but they also help kids with CP consume enough nutrients and stay hydrated.

A few types of therapy are available for CP patients, namely physical, occupational, speech and recreational. Plus, there are treatments such as muscle relaxants and injections, as well as selectively cutting nerve fibers in rare cases.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

The majority of CP cases are congenital, meaning they developed before, during, or within the first four weeks of birth. If the disorder appeared after over 28 days since birth, it is known as acquired cerebral palsy.

In the case of the former, common causes include asphyxia neonatorum during labor, internal bleeding from fetal stroke, infections, fever and trauma. It can also stem from genetic mutations that lead to abnormal development. The causes of acquired CP are head trauma, jaundice, and infections such as encephalitis and meningitis, among others.

While many people lived full lives with cerebral palsy from childhood, adults can’t develop the disorder.

As suggested above, it is possible for someone with CP to live a normal and independent life. What matters most is that you have a good support system.

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