The first symptoms of cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy in newborns: symptoms and treatment
Cerebral palsy is a disease that affects muscle tone, as well as a person's ability to targeted movements and coordinated movement. Cerebral palsy is usually caused by brain damage occurring before or during childbirth. No less serious influence on the development of this pathology and the first years of the baby’s life.
In the article we will take a closer look at the causes of the development of cerebral palsy in children, the symptoms of this disease and methods of dealing with it.
How does cerebral palsy in children under one year
If the child was born prematurely or had a low body weight, if the pregnancy or childbirth had any complications, parents should be extremely attentive to the condition of the baby, so as not to miss the warning signs of developing paralysis.
True, the symptoms of cerebral palsy before the year are not very noticeable, they become expressive only at an older age, but still some of them should alert the parents:
- the newborn has difficulty sucking and swallowing food;
- at the age of one month it does not blink in response to a loud sound;
- at 4 months does not turn his head in the direction of the sound, does not reach for a toy;
- if the baby stiffens in some posture or he has repeated movements (for example, nodding his head), this may be a sign of cerebral palsy in newborns;
- symptoms of pathology are expressed in the fact that the mother can hardly spread the legs of the newborn or turn the head in the other direction;
- the child lies in clearly uncomfortable postures;
- the crumb does not love if it is turned on a tummy.
True, parents need to remember that the severity of symptoms will strongly depend on how deeply affected the baby's brain. And in the future they can be manifested as a slight clumsiness when walking, and severe paresis and mental retardation.
What is cerebral palsy in children at 6 months?
With cerebral palsy, symptoms at 6 months are more pronounced than in infants.
So, if unconditional reflexes typical for newborns - palmar-oral (when pressed on the palm, the child opens his mouth and tilts his head), automatic walking (raised by the armpits, the child puts bent legs at full foot, imitating walking) - this is an alarming sign.But parents should pay attention to such deviations:
- periodically, the baby has convulsions that can be disguised as abnormal voluntary movements (the so-called hyperkinesis);
- the child later than his peers begins to crawl and walk;
- The symptoms of cerebral palsy are also manifested in the fact that the baby often uses one side of the body (marked right-handedness or left-handedness may indicate weakness of the muscles or their increased tone on the opposite side), and its movements look clumsy (uncoordinated, jerked);
- the baby has a squint, as well as hypertonicity or lack of muscle tone;
- the baby in 7 months is not able to sit on its own;
- trying to get something to his mouth, he turns his head;
- at the age of one year the child does not speak, walks with difficulty, leaning on his fingers, or does not walk at all.
Types of cerebral palsy: diplegic form
In medicine, there are several types of cerebral palsy in children. Their symptoms indicate the degree of damage to the nervous system of the child.
Diplomatic form of cerebral palsy appears if the newborn suffered damage to the nervous system in the prenatal period.This pathology manifests itself in a sharp increase in muscle tone, due to which the baby's legs are constantly stretched and crossed.
In the first months of life, the crumbs have a marked lack of movement of the lower limbs and the lack of attempts to roll over on a flank or sit down. Often these children have a lag in overall physical development.
When you try to put the baby on the legs, his muscle tone increases dramatically. Such a child walks, leaning not on the entire foot, but on tiptoe, while his knees rub against each other, and he puts his feet in front of the other. Such kids often lag behind in their intellectual development.
Hemiplegic form of cerebral palsy: causes and symptoms
This pathology is the result of the defeat of predominantly one of the hemispheres of the brain, caused by either intrauterine infection or hemorrhage during childbirth.
The baby has limited movement in the limbs, and deep reflexes and muscle tone are clearly increased. Active movements in such a child are accompanied by involuntary muscle contractions in the affected part of the body (for example, the tension of the handle and its abduction to the side).By the way, the muscles of the body at the same time also tense.
Hyperkinetic form of cerebral palsy
If, during fetal development or during birth, the crumbs of the subcortical ganglia (ganglia) caused by the immune incompatibility of the mother and baby were observed, then the hyperkinetic form of paralysis may develop.
The symptoms of cerebral palsy in this form are manifested in the instability of the muscle tone of the baby, as evidenced by its successive increase and normalization. Or, on the contrary, decrease. Because of this, the child is awkward in movements, takes fancy poses.
Intellect in 70% of patients with this form of paralysis is preserved, and convulsive seizures are rare.
How to diagnose cerebral palsy in newborns: symptoms
If the baby dramatically tightens the legs or, on the contrary, pulls them out when they take him under the tummy, no lower chest and lumbar lordosis (bend) is observed in his spine, the folds on the buttocks are weak and at the same time asymmetrical, the heels are pulled up, then the parents should suspect the development of cerebral palsy.
The final diagnosis is made by observing how the child develops.As a rule, in children with an alarming obstetric history, control is exercised over the sequence of formation of reactions, the dynamics of general development and the state of muscle tone. If at the same time there are noticeable abnormalities or obvious symptoms of cerebral palsy, then additional consultation with a neuropsychiatrist is required.
How is cerebral palsy treated
Treatment of cerebral palsy is complex and should begin from the first weeks of life. In an infant, the brain has a great ability to recover, which helps to achieve much better results than in older age.
In the treatment of cerebral palsy, symptoms in infants are of paramount importance, since therapy is strictly individual, long-lasting and complex. Its main principles are reduced to preventing the development of pathology in the future, as well as the occurrence of irreversible residual processes.
In the first months of life, drugs are used in the treatment of cerebral palsy to reduce intracranial pressure (dehydration with a mixture of citral or diacarab, and magnesia is injected intramuscularly). Along with this, drugs that increase metabolic processes in the child’s brain (B vitamins) are used.
Great importance is also given to the use of agents that stimulate the development of the nervous system (glutamic acid, Aminalon, vitamin B6, Nootropil, etc.).
If the symptoms of cerebral palsy are manifested in increased excitability of the baby, then sedatives are shown to him, and the convulsive syndrome can be treated by such means as Luminal, Benzonal, Chlorocone, etc.
Particular importance is attached to physical therapy, special massage, as well as the stimulation of mental development with the help of speech therapy and pedagogical exercises.
What is important for parents to know
Parents should be very attentive to the state of their child, so as not to miss the signs of cerebral palsy in newborns. Symptoms of this pathology should be taken into account especially if there are grounds for anxiety in the form of a problematic pregnancy, childbirth, or mother-borne diseases.
If you start to treat a child before the age of three, then cerebral palsy in 75% of cases is reversible. But with older children, recovery is highly dependent on the state of mental development of the child.
Cerebral palsy has no tendency to progression, therefore in the case ofwhen the pathology has touched only the patient's motor system, and there are no organic injuries in the brain, good results can be achieved.
Do not lose hope. And be healthy!