What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

It is not surprising to many people when they hear that thousands of babies born all over the globe are affected by cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is certainly not a contagious disease as some people think it to be. Moreover, it is certainly not a byproduct of this new world filled with technological advancements. It has been around for centuries, and only in 1861, did physicians begin their study of this disorder.

A child struck by this disorder in their early years of life can be distinguished from other normal children of the same age by the stiff muscles in both their arms and legs, which prevent them from crawling, walking and even from trying to grasp their toys or any other objects. Cerebral palsy means disorder of the part of the brain which causes muscles to become weak. There is no muscle coordination at all and this prevents them from changing their body positions with ease.

Cerebral palsy happens when the brain, which gives out commands to the body to perform certain actions, gets affected. Depending upon the part of the brain that gets affected, cerebral palsy in children can vary. While some children may find it difficult to walk, others may find it difficult to talk, eat, or even play. The causes of Cerebral Palsy remain a mystery to most in the medical field. It is possible that babies can be subject to injuries to their brain especially if they are premature especially when they are being delivered. The heads of these babies will often be soft and tender and needs to be handled careful. Either any force used by hands or any instruments like forceps can cause grievous injuries to the baby’s brain. Even those babies that are put on ventilators to breathe are at risk of contracting cerebral palsy.

Causes of Cerebral palsy are mostly due to brain injury either before birth, during birth or just shortly after birth. A number of factors can cause cerebral palsy. However, two important problems are determined to be the main causes of cerebral palsy. The first cause is brain damage where the brain has failed to develop to its full potential. The second cause is damage to the developing brain. Bleeding in the brain can also cause this disorder in a newborn baby especially a premature one. At times, some babies fail to get the desired oxygen their brain needs while they are still in their mother’s stomach or just after their birth. The severity of the brain damage is directly related to the length of time the baby goes without oxygen.

Other causes of cerebral palsy in a child will be when the pregnant mother happens to contract any other infections or diseases like rubella, herpes simplex etc. Most of these infections can cause damage to the fetal brain during its development stage. In addition, mothers who have high risks like blood pressure, diabetes and incompatible blood type can also be responsible of their babies having cerebral palsy. Research is still being conducted on what exactly causes cerebral palsy in children.