Ways to evaluate a child for cerebral palsy?

Date (2016-11-11)

Cerebral palsy can be referred as a neurological indication, associated with loss of body movements and lack of muscle coordination. The disease can affect children at their infancy or early childhood due to variety of reasons, such as oxygen deprivation at birth, high blood pressure of a mother during pregnancy, faulty labor, etc. It has been evident so far that children with severe form of cerebral palsy are born with the disease and symptoms are evident then and there; however for kids with milder form of the disability, it is quite possible that symptoms may not be exhibited for months. Thus, it is very crucial as parents to understand that their child is missing any one of the developmental milestone; and if it is so, they should immediately inform their concerns to pediatrics.

Experts as well agree that early detection of progressive diseases, like cerebral palsy can help them in early diagnosis; engaging a child in early detection programmes for better outcome. Although, confirming cerebral palsy can involve many steps; monitoring the key milestones should be at the forefront of priorities, such as:

  •   Abnormal Muscular tone: - Normal muscular tone, allows a child’s limb to bend and contract without difficulty; supporting it to sit, stand and maintain posture without assistance. Whereas a child with CP may demonstrate increased and/or decreased muscle tones, abnormally bad movements, improper motion due to fused joints.
  • Movement, coordination and control: - A child with CP may exhibit hypertonic, fluctuating, scissoring of the legs, poor balance and lack of coordination, disturbances in gait as well posture, etc. Thus, rolling, sitting, crawling, standing, etc. to assess significant milestones.
  • Fine motor functions: - Fine motor functions comprises execution of precise movements such as grasping small objects, gentle settlement of objects, turning pages of the book, etc.
  • Oral motor functions: - If a child is having difficulty in using lips, tongue and jaw indicating a cause of concern, such as speaking, swallowing, feeding, chewing, drooling, etc.
  • Balance: - The impaired gross motor function can have severe impact on child’s ability to sit and maintain a balance, indicating it to be a cause of concern. Thus, if a child is using both hands for support, while sitting or needing assistance for performing task that requires balance and walking with abnormal posture; it should be immediately noted as alarming indication.
  • Reflexes: - Certain abnormal reflexes can be noted as warning signs such as excessive reflex responses, lack of protective reflexes, abnormal posture reflexes, etc.

Some of the associative conditions can as well be visibly expressed at birth such as sensory impairments, seizures, learning disabilities, etc. This should as well be noted that as there is no diagnostic test available confirming cerebral palsy, ruling out the possibilities is the only way to confirm.

Other than this some of the combinational tests can be done to support the diagnosis early, such as:

  •  Assessment of reproductive health of a woman
  • Assessment of paternal health records
  • Assessment of new born screens conducted at birth
  • Checking out APGAR score
  • Assessment of baby birth, developmental as well as growth records
  • Checking out physical performance of a baby
  • Neuroimaging tests analysis to detect developmental abnormality
  • Electroencephalography performance check to analyze nervous system function
  • Evaluating checklists pertaining to developmental milestones

Early treatment usually has the greatest chance of improving a child’s condition. Conventionally only supportive treatments were present to temporarily relieve the pain or symptoms. Additionally there are many support services available for the effective management of some activities and programs, such as day care services or nursing programs. Although the damage in terms of death of neurons cannot be halted or reversed with latest technological revolution such as stem cells treatment for cerebral palsy; the progression can be delayed.

At Advancells, they have been providing assistance to many children for coping up with the problems and to find out permanent solution. Advancells are exploiting the most potent Stem Cells isolated from patients own Bone Marrow or Adipose tissue or may be both depending upon the assessment..

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