The Importance of Understanding Cerebral Palsy

It may not be a disease or illness, but by knowing the importance of understanding cerebral palsy can truly help us be aware of how it affects the lives of many people all over the world and how we can help people cope with the disorder.

Cerebral paralysis, which is also commonly known as CP, was first discovered and studied by a British surgeon named William Little back in 1860.

This discovery led the way to establishing opinions and theories regarding the possibility of asphyxia at birth as a chief cause of this disorder, since it may have been considered a research in progress at the early stages of the studies conducted into the disorder.

Then in 1897, the famous psychoanalysis proponent and scientist Sigmund Freud, who was then a practicing neurologist, pushed for the idea that a difficult birth was not the cause of the disorder, but rather only a symptom of other effects on fetal development – including what may be known today as cerebral palsy.

Despite many years of research and debates on the topic, the major cause of cerebral palsy still remains uncertain. While many findings give rise to the idea that the problem stems from the lack of oxygen to the fetus during fetal development, exposure to radiation, certain levels of internal infection during pregnancy, brain trauma during childbirth and delivery.
However, these are just some of the causes but are not necessarily the main and primary reasons for cerebral palsy.

Medical experts agree that cerebral palsy is caused by damage to one or more areas of the brain, which usually occurs during the development of the fetus or the early stages of infancy. In many cases, it can also occur before, during or shortly following birth, which is also characterized by early symptoms that can be detected right away.

For many young patients with mild to moderately severe cases of cerebral palsy is not a hindrance for them attending school, making friends, or doing things they enjoy, however, they are just doing it differently compared to what people normally do.

These patients usually are assisted by computers or robots which make it possible for them to go about and do things on a day to day basis.
Equipment ranges from computers that help them communicate with others and specially equipped wheelchairs that help them get around, which allows children with cerebral palsy do the same things as children without cerebral palsy can do.

Other people like you can also help make it easy for those with cerebral palsy, especially by understanding that they are a bit challenged when it comes to mobility or movement, so it is best to treat them with patience and understanding.Patients with cerebral palsy may exhibit symptoms of seizures for some but not all, muscle spasm or stiffness, involuntary movement of the hands and feet, abnormal sensations and perception, varying degrees of speech, sight or hearing impairment and sudden disturbances in mobility or movement.

Other symptoms also include lethargy or lack of alertness, low muscle tone especially in the limbs and feet, trembling of the legs and arms, irregular feeding abilities, abnormal posturing, abnormal to inhibited reflexes and irritability, among others.

With these symptoms, one can better understand how to deal and create awareness to help people with cerebral palsy cope with their condition.

Knowing the importance of understanding cerebral palsy can truly help people become more aware of how we may be able to help people with cerebral palsy live normal and productive lives, free from persecution and discrimination.