Cerebral palsy (CP) – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment & pathology

Cerebral palsy (CP) – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment & pathology


It’s pretty well-established that your brain’s
really important. It’s like, if your body was a computer, your brain’s the mainframe.
It controls everything, whether you’re aware of it or not. Cerebral palsy means “brain
disease causing paralysis”; so essentially, cerebral palsy refers to damage to the brain
that causes loss of muscle control, like for example if the cerebellum was damaged, patients
might have issues with fine motor skills like using writing or typing. That being said,
though, cerebral palsy’s a broad umbrella term to basically cover a wide variety of
issues, since ultimately the muscles affected and severity depends on which part of the
mainframe’s been affected, right? Cerebral palsy’s considered a neurodevelopmental
disease, meaning that something happens to an area of the brain during its initial development,
which is an extremely sensitive period. If that area doesn’t develop right, then it
can’t carry out whatever function it’s supposed to control. What’s this vague “something” that can
happen, though? Well, I said “something” because there’s such a wide variety of causes.
The majority of cerebral palsy cases are thought to happen before birth, or prenatally, which
typically means the underlying cause is really hard to pin down. Exposure to radiation and
infection during fetal development can cause cerebral palsy. Hypoxia to the developing
fetus been linked as well, in this case the developing brain doesn’t get enough oxygen,
potentially from problems like the placenta not being able to supply enough oxygen and
nutrients. Cerebral palsy doesn’t have to happen prenatally, though, and some postnatal
causes are things like head trauma, or again an infection or a period of oxygen deprivation.
Although most cases are likely are due to some trauma or injury, a very small proportion
of cases are due to a genetic mutation. Even though the brain damage or injury or abnormality
is permanent, one super important point about cerebral palsy is that it doesn’t get worse
over time, and for that reason it’s considered a non-progressive disease. Cerebral palsy is classified by the type of
muscle movements that result from the brain injury and how that affects what activities
the patient can perform. The first type is called spastic cerebral palsy, which accounts
for about 70% of cases, and this is characterized by having really tight or stiff muscles, which
can make patients’ movements seem jerky. This tightness results from a lesion in an
upper motor neuron. So with a lesion, which just means some kind of abnormality, the ability
of some of these neurons to receive GABA might be impaired. GABA’s the main inhibitory
neurotransmitter, so if nerve impulses can’t be inhibited which is a double negative, then
those nerves are basically over-excited, leading to hypertonia, which is an abnormal increase
in muscle activity, basically like if the muscles were constantly flexed. This is why
some people with spastic cerebral palsy have a scissor gait. Think about how hard it’d
be to walk when your adductor muscles were always partly flexed, which causes your knees
and thighs to constantly touch. Similarly, sometimes patients have a “toe-walk”,
because their calves are always flexed, which pulls the achilles tendon up and causes someone
to go up on their toes. A second type of cerebral palsy is Athetoid
or dyskinetic cerebral palsy, and this one involves damage or injury to the basal ganglia.
The basal ganglia is this structure here which essentially helps us initiate and prevent
certain movements. If the basal ganglia becomes damaged, patients can lose the ability to
prevent movements, and therefore they can have involuntary movements, meaning out of
their control. So dyskinetic cerebral palsy is characterized by dystonia and/or chorea—dystonia
is random, slow, and uncontrolled movements in the limbs and trunk. Chorea is random “dance-like”
movements, since the small uncontrolled movements seem to move from muscle to muscle. Finally there’s ataxic cerebral palsy. Taxis
refers to an order or arrangement, so ataxic essentially means without order, which is
in reference to patients with this type being shaky or uncoordinated, and this is caused
by damage to the cerebellum, which helps with coordination and fine or precise movements.
These patients often have clumsy or unstable movements and poor balance when doing things
like walking or picking something up. Although different from patient to patient,
many patients with muscle control issues have other symptoms as well. Patients often experience
pain from tightened muscles or abnormal posture and stiff joints. Also, abnormal movements
might make it difficult to sleep at night and patients can develop sleep disorders.
Eating can become difficult as well, which can range from the preparation of food to
the action of chewing and swallowing food. Other brain-related issues are also associated,
like difficulties with speaking and communication, vision problems, and learning disabilities. Since cerebral palsy involves a permanent
abnormality to the brain’s structure, it’s not curable, but that doesn’t mean it’s
not treatable. Treatment for cerebral palsy usually involves a multidisciplinary approach,
pulling from a number of clinical specialties like neurologists, rehabilitation specialists,
occupational therapists, speech therapists, and others—hopefully to find a unique approach
for each patient, ultimately improving their quality of life. Physical therapy can be used
to build strength and improve walking ability, along with stretching to reduce contracture,
which is a permanent shortening of muscle tissue from being hypertonic or contracted
for so long. Sometimes muscle relaxants are given or botulinum toxin is injected into
certain muscles to reduce hypertonicity and relax the muscles, which can both help reduce
pain associated with hypertonus and also help fit patients with specific orthotic braces.
Sometimes surgery might also be performed to help with a variety of issues, like loosening
tight muscles, straightening out bones that have been subject to abnormal muscle forces
over time, and cutting certain nerves to reduce their associated movements
or spasms.

100 thoughts on “Cerebral palsy (CP) – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment & pathology”

  1. I am 28 years old I have some trouble in my right side please tell me what its called. and how can I fully cure from this or close to fully cure

  2. I have CP on my whole right side of my body, it affects my right eye, right arm, and right leg. I have a lazy eye from it and i cud move both of my eyes like a chameleon lol weird but cool to me. I can bend my fingers back all the way to touch my wrist, but my brother says maybe I'm "triple-jointed" in my fingers but then I can't do it with my left hand fingers lol and my right leg is smaller than my left leg and u cud see it wen u look at it. My right side of my body is weaker then my left side.

  3. I'm 16 years old and struggling with cerebral palsy. It done damage that left my whole left side weak. I'm still undergoing treatment and have to wear braces on my legs

  4. I have a question about premative reflex … it's start from the first day of the child and it's continues to the first 6 month of his life … so my question is : if there is a damaged on the thalamus ( cortical cortex ) the control will back in the mid brain and premative reflex will come back again ???????????

  5. My daughter Vilena has cerebral palsy too. She is 13 y.o. She can walk and run. But epilepsy started at 10 y.o. It doesn't let her go to school anymore.

  6. Me and this guy have been flirting for a while, and sweetly, he informed me the he had cerebal palsy. He seemed almost scared that I wouldn't talk to him anymore. At first I will admit that I had no idea what it was, so he explained that he had a stroke as a baby & has seizers, along with the loss of movement and mobility in his right hand. It broke my heart alittle because it was almost like he was holding his breath and preparing for me to run. I told him that I didn't look at him any differently. I reinforced by truthfully saying, if he had "six fingers" on one hand, or a missing eyeball, I would still think he was handsome. This was all after I told him I was transgender. So I sort of knew what he was feeling. Guys usually dash when I tell them. But Love is unconditional. Love has no boundaries, gender, or form. It is there, for everyone and everything. My mom raised me to have the best heart I can have. So now, I'm just educating myself about the part of him that he was so scared to tell me about. He's sleeping rn. ✨ This information is alil intense, in the way of alot to take in and remember. I told him he is perfect, in every single way. Maybe he could be the one. We have a bright future ahead of us. Love should always be unconditional. Everyone deserves it. The world is full of beautiful, wonderful, amazing people. Follow your heart & mind. Physical abnormalities are nothing when you really like some one. ✨💞💫✨💫 Love y'all 💘💘💘💘 If he and I date I'll post a videos of our relationship. So stay tuned 💘💘💘

  7. my oldest brother and a few friends have CP. my brother has autism and other things from brain damage. he turned 29 yesterday and March is CP awareness month

  8. I have CP too my CP is not as strong only on one of my leg and im standing on my toes it does not hurt or anything im lucky the same happen on my dad too but he didnt have CP he had foot pain and had too go on HIS toes just almost the same thing

  9. I’m 24 and I have CP I was diagnosed when I was 3 and I don’t remember much about it or know much about but I remember the doctor telling my mom I would never be able to walk and thanks to the help of a physical therapist I can walk and what this video has taught me is I have ataxic cerebral palsy The only issue that I see that I have is I can’t keep my balance all the time

  10. This is an AWESOME video. My cousin has CP and I was always disappointed by how few quality explainer videos there were on youtube for CP. I'm a hobbyist filmmaker and animator and I thought it would be a great cause to create videos on youtube to explain what it is, what the treatments are, how to deal with it, etc.

    I just made my first video(!) and I'd LOVE some constructive feedback. I plan on making about 15 more of them, so PLEASE let me know what you think and if they indeed provide value to parents who want to learn more about the disability.

    Here is a link to the video: https://youtu.be/6o-g8vpWiIE

  11. I am a male cheerleader with moderate hemapolegic cerebral palsy on my left side and my goal is to show others that nothing can stop them. I'm a secondary base and I push myself every day and I have gotten my standing tuck to prove that nothing can get in your way

  12. I'd like to cite this video for a paper in APA style reference – does anyone know the personal name of the author who created it ? (aside from patreon)

  13. it's 2018, I have cp on my right side and am 11, no matter what the doc says you should keep your head up and keep praying because no matter what happenings we (the people with cp) can keep trying because we are as good or better than people without cp because we well keep trying to be the best that we can.

  14. I have cerebral palsy but I walk on my tippy toes a lot but I’ve been doing that since I was a baby and now I have crutches and leg braces

  15. These are literally my favorite videos to watch because they are just the right amount of informative without going over your head.. you guys are amazing, thank you so much for these videos.. they’re getting me through grad school

  16. I have CP. Both my legs.. but ive been living my life normally.. even tho i have a problem with public speaking.. i always shake..my hands, my feet.. i even shake while doing everyday things, holding a spoon,pencill,etc.. but im grateful i can still go to school and have tons of friends 🙂

  17. my daughter was born with cp deft and her brain stopped developing at the age of two. she was born 35 years ago and i still have a very hard time accepting what happened. in 1982 it was a much different time. so little suport for the parents i hope things are better for the parents of these precious children by now. God Bless

  18. Is no one talking about the fact that a lot of people with Cerebral Palsy can't walk and probably won't be able to? Just popped into my head, because that is what I have.

  19. CP causes urinary frequency and urgency as well as incontinence also, I was born with CP and I have to urinate frequently and i have urinary urgency several times a day, especially at night, and I experience leaks sometimes

  20. I was born with lack of oxygen to my brain it was eather before or after Bearth and that cause me to have cp i had seagors and and couldn't talk and was dalayied and that was along time ago but now I still have cp it effects my emotions and I have a choking problem and sometimes its frustrating and I also have a spelling problem and I get really really counfued and feel like screaming but I cant

  21. In the stroke…upper motor neuron lesion cause spasticity b/c upper motor neuron is inhibitory in nature.According to you ,Gabargic neuron damage in motor cortex and pyramidal neuron will out the inhibitory control of these gabargic neuron,and will excite lower motor neuron and spasticity will cause.(wherease it should cause flacidity) plz correct me …

  22. My mom and I both have cp, so I have experience with it, and this video did an absolute amazing job explaining it. Props to you guys

  23. I also have CP but i can still move my body freely.

    My writing skills and just working with hands in general is a bit screwed and some spasms here and there.

  24. That's a lie !!,@2:00 I have cp and I'm 40 and my tiredness pain and mobility is a lot worse than it was in my 20s.

  25. My face is paralyzed and I couldn't controll it but now it is healed! Yay but does this mean I have like a bigger chance then people with it to have cerebral palsy??

  26. I have cp quadriplegia
    But its mild
    I can walk (after a lot of surgeries) they told me ill never walk look at me now bitch but you can see that i walk funny
    My speech is normal unlike my right hand i cant open it
    Ive been made fun off but you know what i learned?
    If you make fun off yourself they cant do it anymore
    I would've said to my mates ill beat you at soccer or i run faster than you
    All i can say keep ur head up fellow cp bros and sisters it gets better with time

  27. Excellent video. I'm a Music Therapy major studying for my board certification exam and this really helped me understand the condition and get a broad overview – from causes, to brain areas affected, to common treatments. Music Therapy can work with folks with CP to use music, specifically predictable qualities like rhythm and song structure, to help with motor goals. We can also use music as a coping mechanism to deal with emotional/mental health side affects that may arise from the condition. These are just some examples, it all depends on the client. Thanks for the video!

  28. amazing vids man, I LOVE your effort. I always use you to prepare for my tests. You are the best. Keep ongoing.

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