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Cerebral Palsy

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Cerebral Palsy in Infants Cerebral palsy (CP) refers to a motor function abnormality, as well as, postural tone thatthose suffering from it acquire early in life, at times even prior to birth (Shepherd 7). The symptoms and signs of the disease usually present in infancy. While cerebral palsy could come across as a muscle condition in infants, it results from cerebral damage as the cerebrum is involved in muscle control (Shepherd 22). The cerebrum is also important for communicating and the ability to learn. In infants, it can be caused by the deprivation of hearing and seeing, although this is not very common. One common cause of CP in infants is periventricular leukomalacia, which is referent to white matter damage in the brain. This could be caused by infections to the mother, such as rubella, premature birth, low blood pressure, or illegal drug use when pregnant (Shepherd 22). Another cause of CP in infants is abnormal brain development. This leads to alteration of brain and body muscle communication. Any brain development abnormality could lead to CP with the foetus being especially vulnerable to this. Gene mutations in those genes that are important in the development of the brain also lead to CP, as do some infections like herpes and toxoplasmosis and trauma to the infants head (Shepherd 24). Finally, intracranial haemorrhage in infants before and after birth due to a stroke could cause CP. Brain bleeds can cause the blood supply to vital tissue in the brain being stopped, which leads to eventual damage or death of brain tissue. In addition, some of the blood could form clots and lead to surrounding tissue being damaged. Finally, brain damage following birth could cause CP in infants. This could result from meningitis and other infections, drowning accidents, head trauma, or poisoning (Shepherd 24). Generally, infants who have gone through one or more of the above will get cerebral palsy. Infants with cerebral palsy may have problems with achieving developmental milestones like uttering words and crawling much later than other infants their age do (Bjorklund 51). Infants with cerebral palsy also tend to crawl in a peculiar manner, while also having an abnormal muscle tone, which is the infant’s ability to relax automatically or tighten their muscles when they need to. In this case, the infant will sit in a slouching position. In addition, the infant will also suckle and feed with a lot of difficulties. It will also be observed that the infant lies in positions that are awkward and unnatural for other infants their own age. Infants with cerebral palsy are also startled very easily and have poor balance and coordination. referred to as ataxia (Bjorklund 51). It is also observed that infants with cerebral palsy seem to favor one side of their body compared to the other, while they have underdeveloped or overdeveloped muscles, which result in stiff or floppy body posture and movement (Bjorklund 52). Infants with cerebral palsy also have slow and involuntary movements that are also referred to as the athetosis. Spastic paralysis could also occur in these infants with abnormal contraction and stiffness of their muscles. These infants also have problems with hearing any sounds and have additional eyesight problems with little reaction to movement or light changes. In addition, they have problems with their bladders as they urinate very often, while the same problem is also seen with their bowels (Bjorklund 52). Finally, the infants have recurring seizures and limited range of movements. Works CitedBjorklund, Ruth. Cerebral Palsy, New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2007. Print. Shepherd, Roberta. B. Cerebral Palsy in Infancy: Targeted Activity to Optimize Early Growth and Development. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier, 2014. Print.