Thursday, December 4, 2008

CP part II

CP is divided into four major classifications to describe the different movement impairments. These classifications reflect the area of brain damaged. The four major classifications are:


In 30 percent of all cases of CP, the spastic form is found along with one of the other types. There are a number of other, less prevalent types of CP, but these are the most common.
A general classification is as follows:

Spastic cerebral palsy is by far the most common type, occurring in 70% to 80% of all cases. People with this type are hypertonic and have a neuromuscular condition stemming from damage to the corticospinal tract or the motor cortex that affects the nervous system's ability to receive gamma amino butyric acid in the area(s) affected by the disability . Spastic CP is further classified by topography dependent on the region of the body affected; these include:

Spastic hemiplegia (one side being affected). Generally, injury to the left side of the brain will cause a right body deficit, and vice versa. Typically, people that suffer from this type of cerebral palsy are the most ambulatory, although they generally have dynamic equinus on the affected side and are primarily prescribed ankle-foot orthoses to prevent said equinus
Spastic diplegia (the lower extremities are affected more than the upper extremities). Most people with disabled diplegia do eventually walk. The gait of a person with Cerebral Palsy diplegia is typically characterised by a crouched gait. Toe walking and flexed knees are common. Hip problems, dislocations, and side effects like strabismus (crossed eyes) are common. Strabismus affects three quarters of people with spastic diplegia. This is due to weakness of the muscles that control eye movement. In addition, these individuals are often nearsighted. In many cases the intelligence of a person with spastic diplegia is unaffected by the condition.

Spastic quadriplegia (Whole body affected; all four limbs affected equally). Some children with quadriplegia also have hemiparetic tremors; an uncontrollable shaking that affects the limbs on one side of the body and impairs normal movement. A common problem for children with quadriplegia is fluid buildup. Diuretics and steroids are medications administered to decrease any buildup of fluid in the spine that is caused by leakage from dead cells. Hardened feces in a quadriplegia patient are important to monitor because it can cause high blood pressure. Autonomic dysreflexia can be caused by hardened feces, urinary infections, and other problems, resulting in the overreaction of the nervous system and can result in high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. Blockage of tubes inserted into the body to drain or enter fluids also needs to be monitored to prevent autonomic dysreflexia in quadriplegia. The proper functioning of the digestive system needs to be monitored as well.

Occasionally, terms such as monoplegia, paraplegia, triplegia, and pentaplegia may also be used to refer to specific manifestations of the spasticity.

Ataxia type symptoms can be caused by damage to the cerebellum. Forms of ataxia are less common types of Cerebral Palsy, occurring in at most 10% of all cases. Some of these individuals have hypotonia and tremors. Motor skills like writing, typing, or using scissors might be affected, as well as balance, especially while walking. It is common for individuals to have difficulty with visual and/or auditory processing of objects.

Athetoid or dyskinetic is mixed muscle tone—sometimes hypertonia and sometimes hypotonia (Hypotonia will usually occur before 1 year old; the muscle tone will be increased with age and progress to Hypertonia). People with athetoid CP have trouble holding themselves in an upright, steady position for sitting or walking, and often show involuntary motions. For some people with athetoid CP, it takes a lot of work and concentration to get their hand to a certain spot (like scratching their nose or reaching for a cup). Because of their mixed tone and trouble keeping a position, they may not be able to hold onto objects (such as a toothbrush or pencil). About one quarter of all people with CP have athetoid CP. The damage occurs to the extrapyramidal motor system and/or pyramidal tract and to the basal ganglia. It occurs in 40% of all cases[

Incidence and prevalence

In the industrialised world, the incidence of cerebral palsy is about 2 per 1000 live births. The incidence is higher in males than in females; the Surveillance of Cerebral Palsy in Europe (SCPE) reports a M:F ratio of 1.33:1. Variances in reported rates of incidence across different geographical areas in industrialised countries are thought to be caused primarily by discrepancies in the criteria used for inclusion and exclusion. When such discrepancies are taken into account in comparing two or more registers of patients with cerebral palsy (for example, the extent to which children with mild cerebral palsy are included), the incidence rates converge toward the average rate of 2:1000.

In the United States, approximately 10,000 infants and babies are diagnosed with CP each year, and 1200-1500 are diagnosed at preschool age.
Overall, advances in care of pregnant mothers and their babies has not resulted in a noticeable decrease in CP. This is generally attributed to medical advances in areas related to the care of premature babies (which results in a greater survival rate). Only the introduction of quality medical care to locations with less-than-adequate medical care has shown any decreases. The incidence of CP increases with premature or very low-weight babies regardless of the quality of care.
Prevalence of cerebral palsy is best calculated around the school entry age of about six years, the prevalence in the U.S. is estimated to be 2.4 out of 1000 children

The SCPE reported the following incidence of comorbidities in children with CP (the data are from 1980-1990 and included over 4,500 children over age 4 whose CP was acquired during the prenatal or neonatal period):

Mental retardation (IQ < 50): 31%
Active seizures: 21%
Mental retardation (IQ < 50) and not walking: 20%
Blindness: 11%

The SCPE noted that the incidence of comorbidities is difficult to measure accurately, particularly across centers. For example, the actual rate of mental retardation may be difficult to determine, as the physical and communicational limitations of people with CP would likely lower their scores on an IQ test if they were not given a correctly modified version.
Apgar scores have sometimes been used as one factor to predict whether or not an individual will develop CP

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