Cerebral Palsy Essay

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Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy is a generic term that is applied to a non-progressive motor disorder. Approximately (2).% of children born today will have some form of cerebral palsy (CP). There are four main categories in which CP disorders are placed. First, Spastic syndromes due to upper motor neuron involvement are representative of 70% of CP cases (8). Subgroups of this include hemiplegia (21%), quadriplegia (27%), and diplegia (21%), which is a mixture of quadriplegia and paraplegia (8). The hemiplegics of this group often have mild or less severe speech impediments than the other subgroups (8). Second, athetoid and dyskinetic syndromes occur in about 20% of the cases (8). This group has the slow, writhing movements and
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Most of the remaining CP patients with "normal intelligence" have perceptual problems and must be placed in learning disability classes (3).

Several theories have been given as to the cause of CP. These include; neonatal jaundice, genetics, infections of infancy, neonatal asphyxia, and birth trauma. Neonatal jaundice causes bilirubin encephalopathy (kirnicterus) which is not common today with Rh immunization and other clinical advances that prevent the massive lysis of child RBC’s (3). Genetic causes of CP have been linked to an autosomal recessive gene in a few cases of the ataxic diplegia form (4). Infancy attributions include head trauma and meningitis (3).

The original thought was that CP was a result of birth trauma and the physician’s competence was a large factor in the incidence of CP. It appears that only 6% of CP cases are due from intrapartum events but most of these seemed to originate their etiology from prenatal or postnatal factors (5). This conclusion comes from the fact that CP children had similar Apgar scores except for acidosis of the veins in approximately 18% of the CP children compared to 0 in normal children (5). This may be due to a lack of equipment to actually diagnose the acidosis, especially in cerebral acidosis. Also, C-sections do not protect against CP and are not advised unless they are normally applicable (5). Another study found

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