There are symptoms that generally typify cerebral palsy, a condition affecting the neurological system and causing impairment with co-ordination and movement. While there is no cure for cerebral palsy, certain treatments can help manage the resulting disabilities. The information on this page gives an overview of the main types of treatment that are generally thought to help people with cerebral palsy.
Medication for Those with Cerebral Palsy
Associated epilepsy can be a common condition in up to 36% of children with cerebral palsy. Medication can be used to suppress or stop seizures, and usually comes in the form of anticonvulsants, generally administered orally.
Medication for spasticity is available to relax the muscles of the patient, assisting movement and reducing the spasticity. Similarly, an injection of botulinum toxin can be administered for muscle spasms of the arm, face, eyelid, neck and foot. It also blocks pain signals.
Types of Therapy
Aside from medication, there are other forms of treatment that may be helpful for those with cerebral palsy. These are often included in the plan provided by the healthcare professional team who will make recommendations according to the symptoms the patient is displaying.
Physiotherapy is an important therapy, as it builds on managing the patient’s physical condition; the primary affected area. There are various forms of physiotherapy depending on the physiotherapist and the needs of the patient. For example, mobility training, which could involve using apparatus such as braces or splints to assist with walking.
The main goals for physiotherapy in treating people with cerebral palsy are to help prevent the muscles weakening further, to improve the patient’s gait, stance, and to stop contracture – the process whereby muscles shorten, reducing the range of movement.
Speech and Language Therapy
Cerebral palsy can also affect the portion of the brain that controls speech. The patient may have difficulty talking or using the correct words. They may also have difficulty in swallowing which affects the ability to eat and even manage their own saliva. Many have found that speech and language therapy can help.
A speech and language therapist can address several of the communication problems that can occur, such as dyspraxia. Dyspraxia is a condition in which the patient is able to comprehend language but, due to issues with their muscle co-ordination, is unable to pronounce words correctly. Aphasia – a condition where the patient is unable to express themselves verbally, or has difficulty understanding speech – is also common.
A speech and language therapist can also help with feeding problems that arise as art of problems with swallowing.
Cerebral Palsy as a Result of Negligence
Cerebral palsy can be caused as a result of problems during the birthing process. This may be due to negligence, such as in cases where the birth has not been monitored effectively leading to oxygen deprivation or failure to identify and treat hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar).
At Gadsby Wicks, our specialist medical negligence solicitors have consistently achieved compensation for families where a mishandled birth has led to their child suffering from cerebral palsy. You can see a selection of our cerebral palsy case studies here. We have experience of a wide variety of medical claims, from surgical injuries to problems arising from misdiagnosis, medication errors and birth injuries.
If you believe you have been affected by medical negligence or a mistake in your treatment, please call us in confidence on freephone 0800 321 3112. Alternatively, please complete our online enquiry form and we will contact youPosted in Birth Injury to babies