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What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

By Dansker & Aspromonte

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Some cases of cerebral palsy (CP) are genetic, which may be the reason that many parents of children born with cerebral palsy don’t think to look further for a cause. Cerebral palsy is often assumed to be a birth defect when in truth it is frequently the result of a birth injury. This confusion may be aggravated by the fact that cerebral palsy is described as “congenital” whenever the condition results from brain damage sustained before or during birth, regardless of the cause. The most common birth-injury-related cause of cerebral palsy is oxygen deprivation.

If your baby has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you owe it to yourself and your child to investigate the cause. At present, the medical profession has not identified a cure for cerebral palsy, and the condition may require lifelong care. If your child suffers from cerebral palsy due to negligence during pregnancy or birth, talk to an experienced New York cerebral palsy lawyer about how you may be able to secure compensation to help provide for medical care and other accommodations.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability among children, affecting approximately one in 323 children.  The seriousness of symptoms varies significantly.

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Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

Some of the most common symptoms of cerebral palsy include:

  • Impaired motor function
  • Stiff muscles
  • Spasticity
  • Difficulty walking
  • Drooling or difficulty swallowing
  • Delays in speech development
  • Seizures

Diagnosis of cerebral palsy can be complicated and may be delayed, as different degrees and mixes of symptoms present in different children, and some symptoms are not readily identifiable in babies. The brain injury that causes the condition may lead to other neurological problems, including trouble with vision and hearing, increased pain sensitivity and psychiatric disorders.

Treatment of Cerebral Palsy

The treatment for cerebral palsy varies significantly depending on symptoms and severity. In serious cases, surgery may be required to reposition limbs, adjust joints or lengthen muscles and tendons. More commonly, cerebral palsy will be managed with a combination of medications and therapy. Medications are commonly used to:

  • Manage pain
  • Control symptoms of spasticity
  • Relax muscles
  • Lesson motor function impairment

Therapies are often required for:

  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Balance
  • Speech and language

Therapy is also used to help the child adapt to equipment that will allow him or her a greater degree of independence.

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Talk to a New York Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

A child suffering from cerebral palsy may require lifelong care, ranging from surgery to medication, therapy, and the use of medical equipment such as leg braces or a wheel chair. Providing the best care for your child means making use of all of the resources at your disposal. If you believe that your child’s cerebral palsy may be the result of a birth injury or a mistake made by your doctor during pregnancy, consult with a New York cerebral palsy lawyer.

Take advantage of a free consultation to learn more about your rights and whether a medical professional may be legally responsible for your child’s condition. Just call 212-540-2984 or fill out the contact form on this page to schedule a free consultation.

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