Cerebral palsy (CP) is a disorder that affects muscle tone, movement, and motor skills (the ability to move in a coordinated and purposeful way). Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the motor control centers of the developing brain and can occur during pregnancy, during childbirth, or after birth up to about age three. There is no cure for CP, but there is Cerebral Palsy Treatment in India which includes therapy, use of special equipment, and in some cases, surgery can help a child live a better life.
About 2% of all cerebral palsy cases are believed to be due to a genetic cause. Cerebral palsy is not an infectious disease and is not contagious. Most cases are diagnosed at a young age rather than during adolescence or adulthood.
Cerebral palsy is one of the most common congenital (existing before birth or at birth) disorders of childhood. Once the brain damage has occurred, it does not get worse even though the child’s symptoms may change with growth and maturation. Brain damage occurring after age of 5 is not considered cerebral palsy.
Different Types Of Cerebral Palsy
1. Spastic cerebral palsy — causes stiffness and movement difficulties
2. Choreoathetoid cerebral palsy — leads to involuntary and uncontrolled movements
3. Ataxic cerebral palsy — causes a disturbed sense of balance and depth perception
Cerebral palsy affects muscle control and coordination, so even simple movements like standing still are difficult. Other vital functions that also involve motor skills and muscles such as breathing, bladder and bowel control, eating, and learning may also be affected when a child has CP. Cerebral palsy does not get worse over time.
Kids with CP have varying degrees of physical disability. Some have only mild impairment, while others are severely affected. This depends on the extent of the damage to the brain. For example, brain damage can be very limited, affecting only the part of the brain that controls walking, or can be much more extensive, affecting muscle control of the entire body.
The brain damage that causes CP can also affect other brain functions, and can lead to other medical issues.
Visual impairment or blindness,
Food aspiration (the sucking of food or fluid into the lungs),
Gastro esophageal reflux (spitting up),
Osteoporosis (weak, brittle bones),
And behavior problems.
Seizures, speech and communication problems and mental retardation are more common among kids with the most severe forms of CP. Many have problems that may require ongoing therapy and devices such as braces or wheelchairs.
Cerebral Palsy Causes
The exact causes of most cases of CP are unknown, but many are the result of problems during pregnancy in which the brain is either damaged or doesn’t develop normally. This can be due to infections, maternal health problems, a genetic disorder, or something else that interferes with normal brain development. Problems during labor and delivery can cause CP in some cases.
Premature babies particularly those who weigh less than 1,500 grams (3.3 pounds) have a higher risk of CP than babies that are carried full-term, as are other low birth weight babies and multiple births, such as twins and triplets.
Brain damage in infancy or early childhood can also lead to CP. A baby or toddler might suffer this damage because of lead poisoning, bacterial meningitis, malnutrition, being shaken as an infant (shaken baby syndrome), or being in a car accident while not properly restrained.
Symptoms Of Cerebral Palsy
1. Variations in muscle tone, such as being either too stiff or too floppy
2. Stiff muscles and exaggerated reflexes (spasticity)
3. Stiff muscles with normal reflexes (rigidity)
4. Lack of muscle coordination (ataxia)
5. Tremors or involuntary movements
6. Slow, writhing movements (athetosis)
7. Delays in reaching motor skills milestones, such as pushing up on arms, sitting up alone or crawling
8. Favoring one side of the body, such as reaching with only one hand or dragging a leg while crawling
9. Difficulty walking, such as walking on toes, a crouched gait, a scissors-like gait with knees crossing or a wide gait
10. Excessive drooling or problems with swallowing
11. Difficulty with sucking or eating
12. Delays in speech development or difficulty speaking
13. Difficulty with precise motions, such as picking up a crayon or spoon
The disability associated with cerebral palsy may be limited primarily to one limb or one side of the body, or it may affect the whole body. The brain disorder causing cerebral palsy doesn’t change with time, so the symptoms usually don’t worsen with age, although the shortening of muscles and muscle rigidity may worsen if not treated aggressively.
Other Neurological Problems
1. Difficulty with vision and hearing
2. Intellectual disabilities
4. Abnormal touch or pain perceptions
5. Oral diseases
6. Mental health (psychiatric) conditions
7. Urinary incontinence
Ayurvedic Treatment For Cerebral Palsy – Cerebral Palsy Treatment
Management of cerebral palsy always remained a quest for the physicians all over the world. Even with introduction of newer and better possible ways to improve the functions of the child so that the quality of life is improved but still is a challenge for them.
Cerebral palsy cannot be correlated with any single disease or condition mentioned in Ayurveda, as it is a multi-factorial disease. Classical signs and symptoms of CP will fit into criteria of Vata vyadhi (Vata predominant disease), Prana Vayu affected. Hence Vata vyadhi chikitsa, Medhy aoushadhis ,Grutha prayogam and Rasayanam chikitsa will prove beneficial.
Overall goal of ayurvedic treatment for cerebral palsy patients is to help the individual with cerebral palsy reach his or her greatest potential physically, mentally, and socially. It is to improve the quality of life by establishing optimal independence.
Cerebral Palsy Treatment at our Cerebral Palsy Clinic – Achintya Ayurveda involves intensive Panchakarma therapy program along with researched oral medicines, sarvanga vata vyadhi chikitsa .Therapies like Abhyanga swedam, Nasyam, Pichu, Shirodhara, Pizhichil, Navara or mamsa kizhi and vasti are done based on the present con. Duration of therapy could range from 3 weeks to 5 weeks.
Repetition of therapies in small courses either individual or in combination intermittently will yield great benefit and stands as long term support for Cerebral Palsy child.