An abnormality of motor function, cerebral palsy can be caused by a host of factors. Understand and be aware of some by reviewing the likely conditions.
- Step 1: Educate yourself on the various possibilities that might lead to a cerebral palsy diagnosis: breech birth, respiratory problems during birth, poor bone formation, abnormally small jawbone, low birth weight, multiple births, nervous system malformation, and seizures.
- TIP: A mother's Rh incompatibility, where her antibodies destroy the fetus's blood cells, could be the culprit.
- Step 2: Accept that the physical and metabolic trauma of birth alone may be enough to threaten the child's health and cause cerebral palsy.
- FACT: As of 2010, about one-half of children with cerebral palsy had been born prematurely.
- Step 3: Watch out for jaundice in newborns that may instigate conditions that can permanently affect the brain and bring on cerebral palsy. Photo or light therapy clears this up and prevents lasting health problems.
- Step 4: Pinpoint problems with clots in the placenta interrupting blood flow, or weak, leaking blood vessels that can damage the brain and lead to cerebral palsy.
- Step 5: Connect meningitis contracted after birth, especially the bacterial strain affecting the spinal cord, and viral encephalitis, a brain inflammation, as possible causes of cerebral palsy in your child.
- TIP: Although lack of oxygen during delivery was once a prime suspect in cases of cerebral palsy, medical authorities now identify few actual instances of cerebral palsy being caused during the child birth process.
- Step 6: Understand cerebral palsy can start in the womb through gene mutations that affect brain development. Toxins, infections, and radiation elevate the risks.
- Step 7: Pay attention to past maternal illnesses, like rubella, chicken pox, and syphilis. Cytomegalovirus, which 80 percent of the population has had, resembles a flu virus but has been associated with the causes of cerebral palsy.