Cerebral Palsy is a disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture. It affects the ability to move in a coordinated and purposeful way. The exact cause is unknown, but many cases are the result of problems during pregnancy in which the brain is damaged or it does not develop normally. It can be caused from anything that interferes with normal brain development such as infections and maternal health problems. It usually occurs before or during birth, or during the first 3 to 5 years of a child’s life. Cerebral palsy is one of the most common congenital (existing before birth or at birth) disorders of childhood.
There are a number of factors that are associated with an increased risk of developing CP. Certain infections during pregnancy such as: 1.) German measles (rubella), this is a viral infection that can be prevented with a vaccine 2.) Chickenpox (varicella), another viral infection that can be prevented by a vaccine 3.) Cytomegalovirus, is a common virus that can cause flu-like symptoms and can lead to birth defects if a mother contracts her first infection during pregnancy 4.) Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite found in soil and feces of infected cats 5.) Syphilis, a sexually transmitted bacterial infection can cause CP 6.) Exposures to toxins such as mercury 7.) other problems that may increase the risk of CP, such as thyroid problems, mental retardation, and seizures. There are certain illnesses in the infant that can increase the risk of CP such as: 1.) if the newborn contracts bacterial meningitis or viral encephalitis 2.) severe or untreated jaundice 3.) premature birth – especially those who weigh less than 3.3 pounds 4.) breech babies which is feet first position during labor instead of the head first position 5.) multiple babies – the risk of CP increases with the number of babies sharing the uterus 6.) lead poisoning 7.) malnutrition 8.) shaken baby syndrome – being shaken as an infant 9.)...
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