What is Cerebral palsy (CP)?
Cerebral palsy, or CP its appriviation, is a permanent non-progressive movement and posture disorder due to damage to the developing brain. The frequency of CP is 2-3 per 1000 live births.
What are the causes of Cerebral palsy (CP)?
Cerebral palsy (CP) prenatal (young or advanced maternal age, multiple pregnancies, genetic diseases, traumas, maternal diseases), birth order (premature birth, low birth weight, prolonged delivery, abnormal presentation and infections) and postpartum (jaundice, infections, trauma, intracranial bleeding).
What are the types of Cerebral palsy (CP)?
Depending on the location and severity of the damage, Cerebral palsy (CP) tables are formed in various degrees and appearance
Spastic type: Spastic type is the most common type of cerebral palsy. Spasticity can be defined as muscle stiffness or resistance to passive motion in the most general sense. The change in the normal structure of the muscles and stiffness causes the movements to be affected and made difficult. Excessive spasticity leads to deterioration of skeletal structure and posture over time. In addition, it negatively affects functional activities such as sitting, using hands and walking.
Athetoid Type: It can be defined as uncontrolled movement. Involuntary movements occur in the leg, arm, hand or face of the child. In this type, sudden changes occur in the muscles. Muscles can go from very relaxed to very stiff. This prevents coordinated movements.
Ataxic Type: There is a disorder in maintaining balance. Development is slow due to poor head control and lack of trunk balance, and walking is achieved too late.
Mixed Type: When muscle tone is extremely low in some muscles and extremely high in others, the type of cerebral palsy is called mixed.
What are the symptoms of Cerebral palsy (CP)?
Problems with movement of the body
- Stiff muscles
- Excessive or loose reflexes
- Involuntary movements or tremors
- Lack of coordination and balance
- Swallowing or sucking problems
- Difficulty with speech (dysarthria)
- Delayed movement skills
- Gastrointestinal problems
Damage to a developing brain can cause problems other than movement problems associated with cerebral palsy. Other conditions that may be present besides cerebral palsy include:
- Vision or hearing impairment
- Learning disorders
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Inability to communicate through speech
How is Cerebral palsy (CP) treated?
There is no cure for Cerebral palsy (CP). However, treatment often improves the child’s abilities.
It is very important to start early diagnosis and early rehabilitation program in CP. There is no definitive and only solution in treatment and it is a long-term process. In this process, the teamwork of the Physiotherapist, occupational therapist, child development specialist, speech therapist and family is an indisputable issue. All of these approaches must be applied to an individual with CP. Exercise, robotic therapies, hydrotherapy and occupational therapy are the main building blocks of physiotherapy applications, which are the most important pillars of rehabilitation. Exercise practices are specially applied to the child by physiotherapists using various techniques to support holding the head, sitting, standing and walking, depending on the functional state of the child. This long and demanding treatment process has been more ea
sily accepted by both children and families with the development of robotic treatments. Thanks to the arm and walking robots, very repetitive and correct walking patterns are formed and these signals are transmitted to the brain. In addition, practices enriched with some games ensure that the treatment continues with interest by children. Hydrotherapy also increases the child’s compliance with the treatment and facilitates exercise by using the buoyancy of the water and increases active participation. Occupational therapy, which is one of the main branches supporting rehabilitation, also includes
studies to increase the participation of the child in daily life activities. In addition, Sensory Integration therapy, which enables the child to obtain sensory information from his body and environment, organize this information and use it in daily life activities, is among the new applications.
All these applications are included in the rehabilitation process by adjusting their doses according to the type and severity of CP. In addition, this process can be supported by various muscle relaxant applications (such as Botilinum toxin applications) and surgical treatments.
The most important thing is that the individual with CP takes place in the society and is included in life. For this reason, all these practices should be within a plan without interrupting the education process of the child and with continuous rehabilitation support.