Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term used to classify conditions that impair motor coordination caused by brain damage. Cmage occurring before, during, or after birth. Any brain damage inflicted up until approximately the age of three can result in cerebral palsy. The part of the brain that is damaged is the determining factor on how the condition affects the patient.
A type of cerebral palsy, called spastic cerebral palsy, occurs when the brain damage occurs in the cerebral cortex, the outer layer of the brain. Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common form of cerebral palsy, affecting 70 to 80 percent of patients. Spastic cerebral palsy has varying forms depending on the areas of the body it affects, whether its one side of the body or just the legs.
Spastic cerebral palsy refers to the increased tone, or tension, in a muscle. Normal muscles work in pairs. When one group contracts the other group relaxes, allowing free movement in the desired direction. Due to complications in brain-to-nerve-to-muscle communication, the normal ebb and flow of muscle tension is disrupted. Muscles affected by spastic cerebral palsy become active together and block effective movement. This causes the muscles in spastic cerebral palsy patients to be constantly tense, or spastic. Spastic cerebral palsy patients may have mild cases that affect only a few movements, or severe cases that can affect the whole body. Although spastic cerebral palsy is not thought to be a progressive disorder, as brain damage does not get worse over time, spasticity in muscles can increase over time. This increased muscle tone and stiffness in spastic cerebral palsy can limit the range of movement in the joints. The effects of spastic cerebral palsy may increase with anxiety or exerted effort, leading to excessive fatigue.
Quadriplegia is a classification of severe cerebral palsy where the disability affects all four limbs and is sometimes referred to as double hemiplegia. It is not uncommon for there to be serious and extensive disability also involving the trunk and neck muscles often with a minimum requirement for a motorised wheelchair to facilitate any independent movement. Many children with this disability cannot function normally in almost any respect and require constant care and attention.
Most victims suffer from spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy which is characterised by uncontrolled movement and poor muscle tone caused as a result of injury to the part of the brain responsible for movement control and coordination. As a result, the child often exhibits symptoms that include jerky movements, twitching and difficulties in walking, sitting and speaking