Cerebral Palsy (CP) can be caused by a number of factors, often not identifiable. For instance, 50% of children with CP are born prematurely and as the brain is vulnerable, haemorrhaging may occur, causing brain damage. Other causes include:
The baby's brain not forming properly,
Lack of oxygen before, during or after birth,
A genetic disorder that can be inherited,
An infection i.e. meningitis caught after birth,
An accident such as a car crash, causing head injury.
There are four different types of CP. The first type of CP is Spastic CP. People with this type Spastic CP experience tightness or stiffness and weakness in some muscles. This causes degrees of difficulty in moving the body.
The second type of CP is Athetoid CP, where the muscles quickly change from floppy to tense. Sufferers' limbs move a lot because their movements are not controlled.
Ataxic CP means that sufferers experience problems with balance and co-ordinating their movements. This is due to the difficulty in controlling the movement of the head, legs and arms.
The fourth type of CP is Dystonic CP. People with Dystonic CP experience rapid changes in their body tension or tone. This means that when someone intends to change their position then their muscles become either very tense or very floppy.
On the whole, not enough is known about CP to cure or prevent it. However, because of improvements in medical care before, during, and after birth, fewer babies have been born with CP in recent years.
Although brain damage is not reversible, there are many treatments and therapies available which can help people with CP.