Cerebral palsy is a common neural developmental condition that is typically encountered by pediatricians. There are numerous definitions of cerebral palsy, all of these definitions point out that cerebral palsy is a combination of several permanent but not unchangeable disorders that arise from injury to the adolescent development of the brain. Cerebral palsy consists of several disorders, some of which are related to the sever impairment of the motor functionality in young children, cerebral palsy is one of the most predominant.
According to O’Shea (2008), the prevalence of the disorder in the developed countries ranges between 1 to 2 children in a population of 1000 births. Also, to the manifestation of the disease in the form of motor challenges, children affected by this disorder frequently exhibit cognitive as well as sensory impairment, epileptic conditions, and nutritional deficiencies. It is often ignored by the parents and the community in general but is a severe disorder affecting a significant number of children every year. Other than the primary symptoms and deficiencies, the disease has been known to result in numerous other health defects.
Some of these health deficiencies include a decrease in sensation, difficulties communication, and bad behaviors of the diagnosed patient. With increased research into the problem, numerous assistive techniques have been developed to assist the children suffering from the disease. However, as have been discussed above, the disorder still poses significant challenges in the developing nations, where the rates of prevalence are higher than the rates in the developed country. Societal and lifestyle impact of the disease Cerebral palsy has significant consequences both for the families of the patients as well as to the general community.
The main impact this disorder has on the patients is on their public health. Though the damage to the brain does not worsen as time passes, it usually has numerous other co-morbidities to including; seizures, variations in cognition, communication and sensation that further impact on the health of the patients (Davis et al. , 2011). It has been shown that the quality of life of the patients has often been significantly related to the level of functioning of their senses, but recent studies on the topic have shown that the patients with the disorder are able to have an improved quality of life. However, Dickenson et al. 2007) found that the quality of life for the children with this disorder is significantly affected by the environmental and the surrounding social factors. Most of the patients with cerebral palsy rate their quality of life as good, mainly because they do not know any other state of life. According to Shelly et al. (2008), this is known as the disability paradox, a phenomenon in which the individuals with any form of invalidity can experience and have a high quality of life with a proper and a high level understanding of their state of falsity and substantial physical and social support and relationships.
This paradox shows that it is vital for caregivers to understand the view children with cerebral palsy have regarding to their quality of life. By doing so, they are able to provide them with an individualized and appropriate care that suits their needs, both physical and mental. Contrary to the expectations of most of the people, children with cerebral palsy often describe their life as of high quality as similar to those children without any form of disability.
It is important to note that, although children with cerebral palsy report a high quality of life, their limited degree of functioning has a massive impact on several areas of their lives. This includes their physical participation in different activities, their health and their feelings about having a disability. However, since pain does not have a significant impact on the quality of life of the patients, it can be adequately controlled with treatment and care. Emotional distress is efficiently handled through the provision of support and assistance to the patients both from the family members as well as from the community as a whole.
Dickenson et al. (2007) explained in his research that the promotion of overall participation of the children in life and the recognition that the children affected with cerebral palsy, have similar experiences of life as those without a disability. He found that these children should be the primary focus of the care providers and the pediatricians. Apart from the patients themselves, the families of the children with this disorder are exposed to significant life changes.
Despite the many findings that have been made regarding the supportive nature of siblings of children with disability, the diagnosis of a disability condition such as cerebral palsy can propose challenges for the siblings of the child with the condition. Moore, Howard, & McLaughlin (2002) explained that the diagnosis of cerebral palsy on one of the children can have adverse effects on the quality of life for the siblings. This disease has been known to cause underlying emotions such as anger, resentment and in some cases guilt that they may be responsible for the diagnosis of their sibling.
The effects of a disability can both positively or/and negatively impacts the life of the other children. Though the advantages of good relationship between the affected child and the other kids and increased internal controls are sufficient, the confusing feelings of the siblings especially at a tender age, have to be taken into consideration by the parents and the health care providers. The reaction and the abilities of the siblings to cope with the situation and condition of their sibling may vary depending on the age of the siblings.
Young children tend to accept the disability readily and be in a position to cope with it while the older children may develop a feeling of shame and embarrassment regarding their sibling’s disability (Moore et al. , 2002). When a child develops a specific health conditions, the parents are the first and the immediate group of people to be affected. Research has displayed that the parents of children with this disease can often experience high levels of stress and depression, in comparison to with the kids who have no disabilities.
As a result, of the nature of the physical and the intellectual disability associated with cerebral palsy, the stressors in the life of the parents range significantly from financial challenges to the detrimental cases of health complications resulting from the stressors. Raina et al (2005) explains that caregiving as a career assists greatly in putting the lives of the parents in a proper perspective. Disease symptoms The diagnosis of cerebral palsy is mainly found in clinical assessment, opposed to laboratory research.
According to Rosenbaum (2007), a cerebral palsy is a group of permanent disorders of the development of movement and posture that causes activity limitations that are attributed to non-progressive disturbances that occurred in fetal or infant brain. From this definition of cerebral palsy, impaired circulation and position due to injury or under-development of the brain are the primary manifestations of the disorder. While the underlying brain abnormality is assumed to be a permanent condition, there has been evidence that the severity of the condition improves and changes progressively with time and treatment.
Throughout clinical practice, the diagnosis of cerebral palsy has mainly been based on the observation or the parental reports about the achievement in motor markers. These markers commonly refer to actions such as sitting, pulling one up, running and evaluating posture of the individual in question. The neurologic abnormalities that are observed throughout early years of the child may not be associated with motor impairment and may in some cases resolve in the first or the second year of life. One such abnormality is transient dystonia, which refers to abnormal neurologic signs that are no longer present after one-year-old.
Since visual observations may in some instances be fleeting, clinicians often avoid basing their diagnosis on single parent report or the examination of the clinician and thus make the definitive diagnosis of the condition after repeated examination(s). Information on the cause and mechanism of the disease The control of the movement of the muscles in the body takes place in the cerebrum. Cerebral palsy tends to appear as a condition of the muscles, but realistically it is a condition that is caused by damages to the cerebrum portion of the brain.
Cerebral palsy does not have one particular reason, as many other diseases tend to have. Instead, numerous reasons are leading to a new born having the condition. According to NHS (2016), cerebral palsy is caused by a problem on the part of the brain that is responsible for controlling movement. This issue can occur the brain is damaged in the early life of the new born or develops in an abnormal manner. However, the exact cause of cerebral palsy is not always apparent in most cases. The main causes of cerebral palsy are prenatal causes. These are causes that happen before the child is born.
These may include brain injury, an infection or an abnormal development of the brain tissues. Another leading cause of cerebral palsy is brain injuries that occur during birth. Cerebral palsy that is obtained through brain injury during the time of birth is called acquired cerebral palsy. In under-developed nations, the number of children with acquired cerebral palsy is higher than the figures in the developed countries due to the lack of specialized resources of birth. Acquired cerebral palsy may also happen if there is a brain injury that occurs within the first few months or years of life.
These injuries may result from brain infections such as meningitis and head injury. Treatments or cures There is no cure for cerebral palsy that has been developed so far. However, numerous techniques have been devised to assist in the management of the disorder. The goal of these management strategies is not to cure the disease or to achieve normalcy but to enhance and improve on the functionality, improve the patient’s capabilities and sustain the health of the patient about locomotion and movement, development of cognitive abilities, social interaction and autonomy (Krigger, 2006).
The best outcomes of the management practices occur when care is provided early in the life of the child. Though, proper administration of the disorder is often explained by researchers and medical professionals as being the most appropriate for dealing with the condition, Krigger (2006) demonstrates that optimal treatment in children with the disorder requires the approach of a team of medical professionals. A team approach is considered the best because it focuses on the total development of the child instead of improvement by a single symptom.
Programs for the treatment of this condition encompasses the physical as well as behavioral therapy, pharmacology, and surgical treatments, mechanical aids and the management of the conditions associated with the disease. The type of therapy that is applied to the administration of a specific patient depends on specific signs and symptoms observed in the patient. The primary treatment strategies for cerebral palsy include the global strategies, physical therapy, and use of medications, surgical treatment, use of external aids and the treatment of secondary conditions. The following discussion explains each of these treatment strategies.
The most commonly used comprehensive treatment approach is the neural development treatment. The method is also called the bobath method. This technique aims at controlling the sensorimotor components, the perception, and the abnormal patterns of movement, control of posture and the memory of the individuals by the application of specific techniques of handling the patients (Krigger, 2006). The strengthening and fitness programs are also some of the most popular interventions for cerebral palsy. Physical therapy involves the application of exercises to enable the patients to develop movement abilities.
Activities allow the individuals to develop strength and improve on the motor abilities of persons with cerebral palsy. However, researchers in the field of neural development have discouraged the use of resistive exercise methodologies because these methods increase spasticity which may have very negative impacts on the children (Fowler, Ho, Nwigwe and Dorey, 2001). However, numerous researchers have shown that spasticity is minimal and the advantages of the technology largely out way the disadvantages of the technique. There are various forms of medications that are used in the management of cerebral palsy disorders.
According to Krigger (2006), some of the main types of drugs that are utilized in the administration of the condition include the Botulinum toxin and Baclofen. Botulinum toxin is used to relax the muscles of the patients. The upper motor syndrome leads to a familiar pattern of motor dysfunction followed by characteristic spasticity and muscle contractions. Botulinum toxin is a formulation that is derived from Clostridium botulinum. The bacteria produce a protein that plays a significant role in blocking and preventing the release of acetylcholine and relaxes the muscles.
Baclofen, on the other hand, is used for spastic and dystonic cerebral palsy. The medication also offers support for substantial pain relief, improved sleep, independence and the ease of care for the care providers. The other form of treatment is the surgical treatment method. The main surgical treatment in application today is the Selective dorsal rhizotomy. This is a procedure that aims at reducing or eliminating spasticity through the selective cutting of the dorsal rootlet from the segments of the spinal cord.
A research conducted by McLaughlin et al. 2002) demonstrated a direct and positive correlation between the percentage of the dorsal root tissues that are transected and the improvement in the gross motor function. Secondary treatment are applied to treat secondary infections. ? Part 2 (5 pages) Introduction The primary function of the brain is to control what we do and how the different parts of the body operate. The brain is composed of four main sections. One part controls movement; another part controls the sight of the individual; another part controls balance while the final part controls speech.
In the brain, different parts control the movement of the muscles in the body. Cerebral palsy is one of the most common disorders diagnosed in young newborns. It is a condition that results from the damage or the lack of development of one of these parts that control movement. The term cerebral palsy is made up of two words: cerebral meaning brain and palsy meaning weakness or paralysis or the lack of muscle control. Cerebral palsy is a blanket term that describes a variety of disorders that characterizes the damage of the brain, the loss of or impairment of the motor abilities of an individual.
The injury of the brain may be caused by head injury or the abnormal development of the brain that happens when the brain of the child is developing during pregnancy. Cerebral palsy affects the movement of the body, the control of the body muscles, the coordination of the muscles, posture and balance of the body. The disorder impacts and develops in newborn children between the ages of 2 to 3 years. The disease does not progress as the brain does not continue to worsen with time. However, the symptoms of the disease may often change from time to time Societal and lifestyle impact of the disease
The effects of cerebral palsy on parents and the siblings of a child with cerebral palsy can never be underestimated. The parents and the siblings may develop emotions and strong feelings such as anger, grief, sense of disbelief and sense of isolation. Such emotions may in some instances be very intense during diagnosis and may often reoccur. The children with cerebral palsy may need high levels of care and assistance with their daily living skills such as eating, bathing and dressing thus placing enormous amounts of stress on the entire family.
Cerebral palsy has a very wide range of impacts both to the patients, the parents, society and the world as a whole. However, the family of the child affected with the disease has is heavily impacted by the condition. The family means the parents and the siblings of the child with cerebral palsy. Due to the massive requirement for money for the treatment and caring for the child, relatives of these children will often be stressed up and suffer from depression. As a result, the quality of life of families with children affected with cerebral palsy is significantly lower as compared to the relatives without such children.
The research by () also demonstrated similar results with regard to the quality of life for the families with kids with cerebral palsy. Olawale et al. (2013) explain that some of the biggest problems that parents of children with cerebral palsy go through include the loss of jobs to take care of the sick children, the lack of concentration at the workplace, the loss of joy and happiness at homes and the re-arrangement of the family income. Each and every one of these problems contribute to the low quality of life for the families.
If uncontrolled, the increased levels of stress in the parents could turn to adverse impacts such as disorders relating to weight. On the siblings, the presence of a child with cerebral palsy in the family leads mainly to psychological challenges. Young children do not have significant difficulties coping with the situation, they can quickly adapt to living and associating with the child with cerebral palsy condition. However, as they age progresses, the teenage siblings may feel ashamed of having a child with the status in their homes.
The research by Olawale et al. 2013) also showed that numerous parents, especially the male relatives, resulted in the use of alcohol when a child was born having the condition. For these reason, the doctors and the medical professionals caring for the sick child should also consider the challenges that the family members undergo in order to care for everyone in the household. Disease symptoms The most prominent signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy are related to difficulties in the movement of the child. These are the consequences of the damage that happened to the brain.
The other signs and symptoms that are observed in children suffering from cerebral palsy are closely related to the primary symptom. The other signs and symptoms that may alert the parents or the caregivers for cerebral palsy include delays in motor development, gait disorders, reduced fine or gross coordination of the motor abilities, disorders in swallowing foods and delays in speed development. However, it is important to note that the presentation of the disease varies from one individual to another, but the primary symptom is similar in all cases.
Information on the cause and mechanism of the disease Cerebral palsy results from the injury or underdevelopment of the brain during the development of the infant in the womb. Unlike the other diseases which have a single particular cause, cerebral palsy is believed to be due to numerous factors. The disorder is present at birth but may not be detected until several months have passed. The cause of cerebral palsy is mainly prenatal and hardly related to the events during birth. In most instances, the disorder is related to the events that happen during pregnancy while the fetus is developing in the womb.
Some possible causes of the injuries to the brain include infections during pregnancy, severe jaundice in infants and the real head injury during or just after birth. Different types of cerebral palsy affect various parts of the body of the patient; this tends to vary from child to child. In some instances, the legs and the arms of one section of the body are affected (hemiplegia). In other cases, both legs of the patient are predominantly affected (diplegia). Children with this condition often have challenges and difficulties with the movement of their hands and arms.
In Quadriplegia, both arms, both legs and the trunk of the patient are affected. In some cases, the muscles of the face, the mouth, and the throat may be involved. The Gross Motor Function Classification System, a system that ranges the gross motor function of the in children with cerebral palsy, describes five levels of motor function. According to the classification, children in levels 1 and 2 walk independently without any need for assistance, children in level 3 require sticks, elbow crutches and walking frames to walk. Children in level 4 or 5 need wheelchairs as their motor abilities are affected the highest.
Treatments or cures Cerebral palsy is damage to the brain that cannot currently be fixed. Impairment both in the movement abilities of the child and disabilities in posture are the initial signs that should point out to the disorder. However, diagnosis of the disease is primarily based on clinical assessment. However, the condition can effectively be managed through the application of numerous techniques thus assisting in reducing the impact of the symptoms on the patient. The management of the disorder mainly involves a team of healthcare providers.
This includes individuals such as pediatricians, health visitors, social worker, physiotherapist, orthoptists, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, educational therapists and the parents. The team of professionals assists in the development of care plans and follow-up plans for the development of all the different symptoms. Treatment for the condition can be considered in three distinct areas including the treatment of the movement problem, treatment of the associated medical conditions and the provision of therapy and early intervention services.
Physiotherapists are essential to provide programs towards encouraging improvements in motor development. Orthoses, upper limb splints, plaster casts and oral medication are mainly applied in the treatment and the management of the movement problem. The other medical conditions that are associated with cerebral palsy are treated similarly to other people in the hospitals or the specialized medical care units for children with cerebral palsy.