Infantile cerebral palsy (CP)

The phrase “infantile cerebral palsy” (ICP) is understood as a group of disorders of the motor functions of the brain that appeared as a result of its damage in infancy. These disorders are not progressive, ie. are found from the very birth of the baby and exist throughout life. Motor disorders are traditionally represented by weakness in a certain muscle group, which is why the gait is disturbed, the movement of the arms is disturbed, or, for example, the neck is thrown back; the so-called hyperkinesis is also possible – sharp stereotypical movements in the arms, legs, mimic muscles, which are difficult to control by the patient. In some cases, with cerebral palsy, a violation of intellectual development and speech is likely.

The main factors leading to the appearance of cerebral palsy are hypoxia of the baby in the womb or immediately after birth. So, in most babies, the cause of the disease is the pathology of the mother’s pregnancy (toxicosis, impaired placental circulation, infections), as well as a violation of autoimmune mechanisms that are directly involved in the embryonic development of fetal tissues. Birth injuries caused by various types of obstetric pathology (narrow pelvis of the mother, its irregular structure, weakness of labor, protracted or rapid labor, as well as childbirth after a long anhydrous period, improper presentation of the fetus), only in a relatively small number of cases serve as the only cause leading to brain damage in the fetus. In most cases, the severity of childbirth is determined by the already existing pathology of the baby,

After childbirth, the most common cause of cerebral palsy is hemolytic disease of the newborn (“nuclear jaundice”), in which the baby’s brain becomes intoxicated. Jaundice can be based on all sorts of mechanisms – incompatibility of the blood of the mother and fetus by blood type or Rh factor, as well as liver failure of the newborn.

Hypoxia underlying the development of cerebral palsy leads to underdevelopment of the baby’s brain structures, especially the brain regions responsible for the formation of reflex mechanisms and maintaining body balance. This leads to an incorrect distribution of muscle tone in the skeleton and the occurrence of pathological motor reactions.

Clinical manifestations of cerebral palsy depend on the degree of brain damage. The most common form of the disease with a symmetrical lesion predominantly of the lower extremities and to a lesser extent – the upper. This is manifested by the fact that the baby in infancy is not likely to be put on legs, and on his own he begins to walk only by 2-3 years. Subsequently, there is a violation of gait in the form of an emphasis on socks, when, when walking, the child rests on the toes, and not on the foot. Affected limbs may be stunted. Simultaneously with gait disorders, there are speech impairments: its slowness and blurring.

Treatment of cerebral palsy includes, first of all, a complex of physiotherapy exercises and massage courses, as well as the use of drugs that reduce muscle tone. In addition, measures are needed to prevent the development of stiffness in the joints of the affected limbs (paraffin baths, ozocerite), as well as the use of products that improve microcirculation and nutrition of the nervous tissue.

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