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Cerebral Palsy is the general term for a number of neurological conditions that affect movement and co-ordination. Neurological conditions are caused by problems in the brain and nervous system. Cerebral Palsy is caused by a problem in the part of the brain responsible for controlling muscles. The condition can occur if the brain develops abnormally or is damaged before, during or shortly after birth.
Causes of Cerebral Palsy include:
It is estimated that 1 in 400 people in the UK is affected by Cerebral Palsy.
The symptoms of CP normally become apparent during the first three years of a child’s life. The main symptoms are:
These symptoms can affect different areas of the body and vary in severity from person to person. Some people will only have minor problems, whereas some others will be severely disabled.
Many people with CP also have a number of associated problems, including repeated seizures or fits, drooling problems and swallowing difficulties. Some people with the condition may have communication and learning difficulties, although intelligence is often unaffected.
There is no cure for Cerebral Palsy, however, there are numerous treatments available which can treat many of its symptoms and can help people with the condition to be as independent as possible. These treatments include physiotherapy, occupational therapy and medication to relieve muscle stiffness and spasms. In some cases surgery may also be required.
Cerebral Palsy is not a progressive condition which means that the original problem in the brain does not get worse with age and life expectancy is usually unaffected. Despite this the physical and emotional strain of living with a long term condition such as Cerebral Palsy can put a great deal of stress on the body, which can cause further problems in later life and life expectancy is often diminished.
Substandard medical treatment during birth can cause cerebral palsy. For example, there could be:
It is not always the baby that suffers trauma/injury during birth and sometimes, it can be the mother. For example, a mother may experience perineal tears, nerve injury and maternal death. In some instances these injuries can be avoided but for the actions of the clinicians involved.
Pregnancy and birth injuries are devastating and in some cases cause severe disability. Bridge McFarland Solicitors understand the complex and sensitive legal and medical issues involved and the importance of supporting individuals through this most difficult time.
Here are some useful CP links to help support you and your family: