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About 500,000 children and adults in the United States manifest one or more of the symptoms of Cerebral palsy. However, many people still don’t know much about this group of disorders and treatment. Here’s some important information about Cerebral palsy and how our PPEC treats Cerebral palsy in Miami and Doral.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy, or CP, is a condition that affects a person’s ability to walk, talk, or perform other daily tasks. It occurs when a baby’s brain doesn’t correctly develop in the womb or during the first few months of life. People with CP have a range of disabilities, including difficulty walking, problems with vision or hearing, intellectual disabilities, and other health issues. 

The severity and symptoms depend on which parts of the brain are damaged and to what extent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 500,000 children and adults in the United States manifest one or more Cerebral palsy symptoms.

Types of Cerebral Palsy

There are many types of Cerebral palsy, each with its symptoms and needs. Some of the most common are: 

  • Spastic disorders – The most common form of cerebral palsy, spastic disorders result from damage to the lower part of the brain. Babies born with this condition have stiff and jerky movements, poor muscle tone, and trouble feeding. Children with spastic CP often walk with an abnormal gait, have difficulty controlling their leg muscles, and have an increased risk of bone diseases.
  • Athetoid disorders – This type is associated with damage to the upper part of the brain. Infants with athetoid CP have poor head control and muscle tone, particularly in the hands. While many children with athetoid CP do not walk, others do. If they do walk, they may have an unusual gait, such as an abnormal knee bend, and may need assistance.
  • Ataxic disorders – Damage to the cerebellum, located in the lower back part of the brain, is the cause of this type of CP. Babies with ataxic conditions have poor muscle tone, low head control, and poor reflexes. Children with ataxic CP usually can walk, but they need assistance.
  • Mixed disorders – Babies with mixed disorders have symptoms associated with more than one type of CP.

Treatments for Cerebral Palsy in Miami and Doral

Cerebral palsy is not curable, but treatment (such as physical therapy and occupational therapy) can manage symptoms and help a person with CP live a full and healthy life. The type and frequency of treatment a person with CP receives depends on the severity of their symptoms. Babies with CP often begin physical and occupational therapy within the first six months of life. These types of therapy help maintain muscle tone, improve balance and coordination, and promote development and skill acquisition. 

Physical and occupational therapy can last a lifetime and is especially important for people with CP who use wheelchairs. Regarding medication, doctors may prescribe drugs for motor and vocal tics, seizures, high blood pressure, and other conditions related to CP. Surgery may be another treatment your doctor recommends. People with CP can sometimes benefit from surgery to treat leg spasms and other conditions.

What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

Researchers have long been searching for the cause of CP, but according to the CDC, the exact cause is unknown. The CDC says that while many factors can play a role in causing this disorder, these factors do not necessarily cause the same type or severity of CP in every baby. Several factors can increase the risk of a baby developing CP, including low birth weight, premature birth, an infection in the baby’s brain or spinal cord, lack of oxygen in the baby’s brain, metabolic disorders, and certain drugs. Although certain conditions may increase the risk for CP, many babies who experience these things do not get the disorder.

Cerebral Palsy Treatment in Miami and Doral

The more we know about Cerebral palsy, the better we can support those who live with it. Let’s break the silence around this condition and educate our communities about the challenges people with CP face! At First Kid’s PPEC, our mission is to put kids first and help families needing physical care for their children. Cerebral palsy is one of the many conditions we treat in Miami and Doral at our PPEC centers. Contact us today for a free consultation!