World Cerebral Palsy Day 2022
On the 6th of every year, World Cerebral Palsy Day is celebrated globally to raise awareness about the conditions and support those living with it. Cerebral palsy affects children by causing motor disabilities. Currently, there are 17 million people having cerebral palsy globally. World Cerebral Palsy Day was created in 2012 by the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. The aim behind this day was to ensure that those with cerebral palsy are given the same rights, access, and opportunities as everybody in society gets.
Keep reading to know more about Cerebral Palsy
What Is Cerebral Palsy (CP)?
Cerebral palsy is a group of neurological disorders that impacts a person's balance, movement, posture, and muscle tone. The word "Cerebral" means associated with the brain, whereas "Palsy" refers to muscle issues or weakness. Cerebral palsy happens when the part of the brain responsible for controlling the ability to move has not developed or is damaged during birth or in the earlier part of life.
Congenital cerebral palsy is brain damage or abnormal brain development before or during birth.
Acquired cerebral palsy is brain damage in the initial few months or years of life.
Types Of Cerebral Palsy
There are four types of cerebral palsy. These types are divided depending on the movements involved. They are:
- Spastic cerebral palsy
- Dyskinetic cerebral palsy
- Ataxic cerebral palsy
- Mixed cerebral palsy
The signs of cerebral palsy differ from person to person, depending on the type. Knowing that some of these signs might also be seen in children not having cerebral palsy is essential. But alsoc, it is essential not to ignore these signs in children. The various signs of cerebral palsy in children include:
Signs Of CP In Less Than Six Months Old Babies:
- Lagging of the head when the baby is picked
- The baby feels stiff and floppy
- Stiffening and crossing of the legs upon picking up the baby
- Overextending of the back and neck constantly upon being cradled in arms (looks like the baby is trying to push away)
Signs Of CP In More Than Six Months Old Babies:
- Not rolling over in any direction
- Inability to bring hands together
- Trouble bringing the hands near the mouth
- Trying to reach out with only one hand while the other remains fisted
Signs Of CP In More Than Ten Months Old Babies:
- Crawling in a lopsided pattern
- Scooting around on the buttocks or hopping on the knees but not being able to crawl
- Delayed speech development
- Trouble speaking
- Trouble chewing or sucking
- Difficulty in eating and swallowing
- Drooling too much
- Trouble walking
- Involuntary movements or tremors
- Delay in growth
- Trouble learning
- Having seizures
- Hearing/vision problems
- Abnormal pain
- Problems with bladder and bowel movements
- Emotional issues
- Behavioral problems
Cerebral palsy happens when the part of the brain responsible for controlling the ability to move has not developed or is damaged during birth or in the earlier part of life. In certain cases, the exact causes of cerebral palsy remain unknown. However, some factors can cause issues in brain development. They are:
- Head injury or trauma to the head that might have happened due to an accident, like falling from a bike, roof, or physical abuse.
- Bleeding in the brain (Intracranial hemorrhage), during birth, or in the womb.
- Genetic mutations result in abnormal brain development.
- Lack of oxygen during labor and while giving birth (asphyxia neonatorum).
- Getting chronic jaundice as a child.
- Acquired infections in the womb (measles and herpes simplex)
Risk Factors Of Cerebral Palsy:
- Maternal infections: Having infections like cytomegalovirus, syphilis, toxoplasmosis, Zika virus infection, or intrauterine infections during pregnancy.
- Exposure to toxins: During pregnancy, exposure to toxins like methyl mercury acts as a risk factor.
- Certain conditions: Thyroid condition, preeclampsia, or epilepsy/ seizures in the mother can be a risk factor.
- Multiple babies: Being pregnant with twins or triplets might become a risk factor.
- Premature birth of the baby.
- Low birth weight: A weight of fewer than 2.5 kgs (5.5 pounds) during birth is a high-risk factor.
- Breech birth: A situation where the baby's feet or butt comes out first.
- Rh incompatibility: This is due to the incompatibility between the Rh-type blood of the mother and baby.
The Final Takeaway:
In most instances, cerebral palsy cannot be prevented. However, the risk of developing it can be reduced. The measures to reduce the risk of developing cerebral palsy can be implemented during pregnancy. This World Cerebral Palsy Day 2022 raises awareness among women of childbearing age who are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant about the various measures they can follow during pregnancy that would help in the prevention of cerebral palsy in their child. Encourage them to get vaccinated, avoid consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs, reduce their exposure to toxins, take utmost care of themselves and seek proper parental care from the beginning to the end of their pregnancies.
This World Cerebral Palsy Day 2022, creates cerebral palsy awareness by educating parents to watch out for the symptoms of cerebral palsy and seek early advice and treatment from the doctor upon noticing any of the above-mentioned symptoms.