Medical science has ruled out that cerebral palsy was never a disease. It is a condition that developed inside the womb of the mother during pregnancy. It is a condition where the baby, for various reasons, is born with some damage in the brain which eventually causes problems with the body movements and muscle coordination. Cerebral palsy is not a progressive condition unlike some other neurological conditions or diseases.
Nevertheless, even if the condition itself does not get worse over time, the other resulting problems and disabilities such us muscle stiffness or muscle slackness can potentially become more problematic as the patient grows older. And because the condition is not curable, people are looking into the possible causes so expecting mothers can be forewarned on the things or risks to avoid cerebral palsy.
It has been observed that infants who were delivered premature, have relatively low birth weight, did not cry within five minutes after the deliver and was inside a ventilator for more than four weeks are highly at risks of having cerebral palsy. Brain damage or brain hemorrhage is another condition which can increase the possibility of the child developing some sort of cerebral palsy. That is why physical trauma to both the mother an the child should be avoided at all costs.
The trauma from a violent shaking, accident or any other forms of physical abuse can easily cause brain damage to a child’s very sensitive brain. But don’t get me wrong, physical stress can increase the risks but so does other non-physical acts such as taking drugs and alcohol during pregnancy. These contain substances that can cause mental retardation and other disabilities to the brain.
At one time the Rh blood type difference between the mother and her child was a major factor in causing cerebral palsy. What happens here is that the incompatibility of the blood types of the mother and child causes the mother’s own defense system to treat her child’s blood as a threat. So the mother’s own immune system keeps attacking the child’s blood cells during pregnancy and as more and more blood cells are damaged, brain damage could result. Now due to new discoveries in the field of medical science, doctors are able to determine at a very early stage if the Rh factors are quite different allowing them time to take the necessary actions or treatments.
Perhaps the most significant risk factor today is giving birth prematurely. The weight of the baby at child birth has been found to be related to the chances of a baby developing cerebral palsy. The risks increase as the baby’s weight falls. The number of children that weigh three pounds lower has a higher percentage of being at risk to cerebral palsy compared to a child that weighed four pounds during birth.
If the mother developed conditions like thyroid disorders, seizures, infections and other medical problems, the chances of the child being born with cerebral palsy is quite high. The same goes with the baby if they are born with defects. Both situations might cause problems with the brain, spinal cord, lungs, and even the body’s metabolism.
Despite the various external causes that have been mentioned, sometimes genes take a role in the whole process. The condition of resulted to some brain scarring or damage might be hereditary or based on the genetics of the family.
There are a number more stuff that can be avoided to reduce risks of cerebral palsy. However, do remember that this condition is brought about by a variety of factors.