It’s Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, Here’s Why It Matters
March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, a time to support and educate the public about this common disability. This month and on CP Awareness Day, which is March 25, Plasticity® Brain Centers is proud to support CP awareness, as we work to assist these individuals with their brain health and their overall well-being.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy, or CP, is a non-progressive disorder that affects movement as well as posture. CP is the most common physical and motor disability in childhood, affecting 2.1 people per 1,000 live births. This disability occurs as a result of brain damage, abnormal brain development, bleeding in the brain or a severe lack of oxygen in the brain.
CP is often diagnosed at or before birth, however, in some situations, CP can occur from a traumatic injury after birth, as brain damage can affect developments in muscle control and coordination.
What are the Signs of Cerebral Palsy?
Developmental signs may be easy to catch in early life, sometimes even before birth, but signs that an individual has CP can also be delayed until after the first year of life. According to the National Institute of Health, some early warning signs of CP may include:
- Inability to bring hands together
- Difficulty putting hands in mouth
- Reaching out with only one hand while keeping the other in a fist
- Lopsided crawling
- Not being able to stand without holding onto support
Recognizing the signs of diagnosis is a big part of why Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month is so essential. The earlier the signs are identified, the earlier the symptoms of CP can be helped.
What are the Types of Cerebral Palsy?
Once an individual is diagnosed with CP, the sub-classification of CP is also communicated to the individual. The types CP include:
- Spastic Cerebral Palsy: This is the most common type of CP. Individuals with Spastic Cerebral Palsy have stiff muscles and experience difficulty moving.
- Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy: Individuals diagnosed with this type of CP suffer from slow and uncontrollable movements of the hands, feet, arms or legs.
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: This sub-classification affects an individual’s balance and depth perception, which influence coordination and overall body movement.
- Mixed types: Some individuals may experience the varying types of symptoms from the different sub-classifications, so they may receive a “mixed type” diagnosis.
What are the Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy?
Each individual is unique, so depending on the type of diagnosis, an individual may ultimately experience different symptoms. However, common CP symptoms overall include:
- Poor balance and coordination
- Weak or stiff muscles
- Problems with speaking, hearing or swallowing
- Difficulty seeing and feeling
How is Cerebral Palsy Treated?
Most research suggests that CP is a permanent disorder, but we have a different experience. Because CP has to do with brain function, Plasticity® Brain Centers has successfully improved the lives of those with CP through our neurological treatment plans.
We understand that every patient is different. Every patient faces their own individual health challenges and seeks their own unique health goals. That’s why at Plasticity® Brain Centers, we use innovative tools and research-based assessments to accurately design customized treatment plans. We have successfully helped patients with CP improve their coordination, reaction times, ability to move and more.
Though March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month, we encourage you to continue your support of this common disability every month and seek help if you suffer from CP. If you or a loved one are in search of bettering your quality of life and overcoming your movement disorder, request a free consultation with our compassionate doctors.