History of Cerebral Palsy

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Cerebral palsy is a physical disability most common in childhood basically affecting the movements and posture causing limited activity being attributed to disturbances, which are not progressive occurring in the developing infant or fatal brain. The motor disorders of cerebral palsy are habitually accompanied by disturbances of cognition, sensation, perception, communication, and behavior or seizure disorder.

There are secondary orthopaedic abnormality inhibited by the child such as scoliosis of the spine and hip dislocation. Scoliosis is a condition involving spine’s lateral curvature greater than ten degrees without possible cure but can be treated by surgery or bracing.

William Little first detected the cerebral palsy also known as cerebral paralysis in 1860. He was a British surgeon identifying that asphyxia during birth is the major cause of the abnormality. Asphyxia is a condition where there is an occurrence of extremely deficient oxygen supply to the body leading to inability of breathing normally.

In 1897, Sigmund Freud, a neurologist said that the disorder is not brought about by a difficult birth rather from the symptoms of other effects during the development of the fetus.

In 1980, it was found out by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke that only few number of cases of cerebral palsy is due to lack of oxygen during birth.

It was believed by Thomas Galton that there is a consistency between aptitude and physical disability however this attitude stays prevalent leading to an over diagnosed cerebral palsy disorder in 1970.

This leads to occurrences of different cerebral palsy subtypes including hypotonic CP however only one individual out of 2000 are positively diagnosed with this disorder. So it only means that cerebral palsy depends on the people’s interpretation of what the disorder is. Spastic, Ataxic, Atheoid, and mixed are recognized by scholars as important forms of cerebral palsy open to subtypes existence.

It is a misnomer that cerebral palsy causes mental retardation because only those individual with brain damage associated with frontal cerebral cortex acquired this disorder.

Learning difficulties can occur but individuals with CP can have normal lives when it is managed effectively and coherently. Difficulties in movements are common with people diagnosed with cerebral palsy varying from minor levels of clumsiness.

Cerebral palsy can occur during pregnancy with a rate of 75%, at birth with a 5% rating, after birth with a 15% rating. Eighty percent of cerebral palsy causes are not known. However some known causes includes malnutrition, infections and major head injury during early stage of childhood.

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