Cerebral palsy refers to a group of conditions caused by muscle movement abnormalities in the brain. Your child may be at risk for cerebral palsy if he or she had a low birth weight, was born prematurely, had a reduced oxygen supply to the brain during development, or if the mother had an infection during pregnancy.
Treatment outcomes are more successful with early detection and diagnosis. If you’d like to meet with an expert to learn more about cerebral palsy in Arizona, use our online tool to Find a Doctor. Our neurologists provide excellence in care at Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s, Chandler Regional Medical Center, and Mercy Gilbert Medical Center.
How to Recognize Cerebral Palsy
The signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy can usually be seen by the time a child is three years old. Symptoms vary and may be mild or severe, depending on the type of muscle disorder. Severe cases of cerebral palsy can cause complete paralysis.
Things to look for include:
- Abnormal sensations including pain
- Learning disabilities
- Difficulty speaking
- Bladder or bowel incontinence
- Hearing loss
- Poor vision
At Dignity Health, our doctors take a team approach to treating disorders of the brain and nervous system. Each of our hospitals has a team of neurosurgeons, neurologists, intensivists, oncologists, anesthesiologists, and nurse practitioners who provide care with compassion for patients with neurological conditions.
Diagnosing Cerebral Palsy
A well-child visit may be the first opportunity your doctor has to identify symptoms of cerebral palsy. A pediatrician can assess your child for developmental milestones, such as crawling or walking. During this time, your doctor can check for any motor coordination problems and test muscle tone and reflexes for any abnormalities.
Treatment Options for Cerebral Palsy at Dignity Health
Cerebral palsy can’t be cured, but doctors at Dignity Health can treat symptoms and help provide support for children and their families. Depending on your child’s specific case, your doctor may recommend medication, speech therapy, physical and occupational therapy, assistive devices, or surgery.
Skilled neurologists at Dignity Health offer compassionate care to diagnose and treat all types of cerebral palsy in Arizona.