Cerebral palsy is a disorder of muscle tone, movement, or posture caused by injury or abnormal development in the immature brain. This injury and abnormal brain development most often occurs before or at birth, which is called a birth injury. This disorder affects an astonishing one in 278 children, and each year approximately 8,000 babies and infants are diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Though cerebral palsy is caused by an abnormality or disruption in brain development, oftentimes the trigger for the disorder isn’t known; however, certain factors may lead to problems with brain development. These include:
- Fetal stroke, which can be caused by a disruption of blood supply to the brain;
- Lack of oxygen to the brain (asphyxia) caused by a difficult delivery or labor;
- Maternal infections that affect a developing fetus; and
- Infant infections, which can cause inflammation in or around the brain.
The symptoms of cerebral palsy typically appear during infancy or a child’s preschool years, and those affected frequently have conditions related to developmental brain abnormalities, such as seizures, vision or hearing problems, or intellectual disabilities.
The signs and symptoms of this disorder can vary greatly, but the movement and coordination problems often associated with it include: difficulty walking, eating, and speaking; stiff muscles and either exaggerated or normal reflexes; lack of muscle coordination; delays in reaching motor skill milestones, such as crawling; and involuntary movements.
Cerebral palsy is a disorder with no cure, so it is imperative a woman’s physician provides proper prenatal care and deliver the child with extreme caution and care. Also, early recognition and treatment of infections may help prevent cerebral palsy. If a healthcare professional fails to do any of these things, a baby may be affected with this lifelong disorder. If your child has cerebral palsy caused by an injury at birth, a knowledgeable Louisville cerebral palsy lawyer can help you obtain compensation for your child and for any losses or damages.