Cerebral palsy is a group of neurological movement disorders that affects a person’s ability to move and control the body. It is the most common cause of movement problems in children.
Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California can provide the exceptional care that you need when it comes to diagnosing and treating cerebral palsy in the Sacramento region. Our fellowship-trained movement disorder specialists collaborate with our neurology team to bring you a personalized treatment plan. Find a neurologist and make an appointment near you today.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy may be caused by:
- Bleeding in the brain (a stroke) that occurs in some babies before birth
- Infections during pregnancy, including chickenpox, rubella (German measles), cytomegalovirus (CMV), and toxoplasmosis
- Lack of oxygen while in the womb or during birth
- Traumatic head injury after birth that leads to brain damage, such as a motor vehicle accident or fall
- Exposure to toxic substances such as mercury
- Random gene mutations that cause unusual brain development (although cerebral palsy doesn’t seem to be passed down through families)
Sometimes, there is no known cause for cerebral palsy.
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
Common signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy include:
- Poor or unusual posture
- Stiff muscles
- Difficulty speaking or swallowing
- Uncontrollable movements
- Poor balance and coordination
- Intellectual disabilities
It is possible for the symptoms of cerebral palsy to affect just one part of the body, such as the arms but not the legs, or the left side of the body but not the right. Cerebral palsy may not be immediately recognized and diagnosed at birth, especially in premature babies.
Treating & Preventing Cerebral Palsy in the Sacramento Region
There is no known cure for cerebral palsy, and no certain way to prevent it. If pregnant, you can decrease your child’s risk of cerebral palsy by keeping your immunizations up to date, avoiding exposure to harmful chemicals, and seeing a doctor for regular checkups throughout your pregnancy.
At Dignity Health, our advanced medical treatments for cerebral palsy may include:
- Physical, occupational, and speech therapy to build strength and develop skills and strategies to navigate daily life.
- Medication to relax stiff muscles and improve movement.
- Surgery to adjust bones and joints, or to relax extremely stiff muscles.
- Assistive devices, such as braces, splints, walkers, and crutches, can help maintain body position and promote safe movement.
Your neurologist at Dignity Health can help you understand you or your child’s needs and which medical treatment is right for your unique needs.
Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California offers personal neurological care for cerebral palsy in Sacramento, CA and surrounding areas.