The most common cerebral palsy cause is asphyxia. Studies show that the lack of oxygen to the brain in an infant is a possible cause for cerebral palsy. However, recent studies have shown that asphyxia isn’t the most important factor that could cause cerebral palsy.
Alcohol is one of the main culprits in the development of cerebral palsy. It isn’t conclusive, but the consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol during pregnancy is considered a risk factor. Pregnant women are often advised by healthcare specialists to abstain from consuming alcohol altogether at least until after the baby is born. This is mainly because there is a concern over the unborn baby having to fight the negative effects of alcohol during the developmental stages in the womb.
The consumption of alcohol and/or drugs is known to poison the unborn child. The alcohol and/or drugs can have a serious effect on the baby’s blood vessels, internal organs and nervous system. Abnormalities that occur during this stage can cause serious brain damage. Furthermore, it can result in low birth weight, which is another factor considered as a cerebral palsy cause.
A child with low birth weight means he or she weighs 5.5 pounds or less. Studies have shown that babies with low birth weight have more risks of developing cerebral palsy then babies with higher birth weights. Low birth weight in babies are highly associated with the consumption of alcohol and/or drug use during pregnancy, and also especially during teen pregnancy.
The next major cause of cerebral palsy is jaundice. The red blood cells in babies have a shorter lifespan compared to the red blood cells in adults. When there is a breakdown of old blood cells in the body, bilirubin is naturally released. If a baby does not have a fully developed liver, bilirubin cannot be processed properly. This results in the accumulation of bilirubin, which in turn produces a yellow color in infants. Very high levels of bilirubin can damage the brain. This increases the risk of cerebral palsy in an infant.
Another major cerebral palsy cause is malnutrition. This applies to pregnant women, nursing mothers and any individual who’s had cerebral palsy since birth. Malnutrition isn’t to be looked upon lightly. Malnutrition can cause a myriad of health conditions and even death, if not dealt with accordingly. Malnutrition happens when the body doesn’t get enough nutrients, vitamins and minerals for it to function normally. Cerebral palsy can be associated with malnutrition during prenatal or neonatal care.
Finally, infection during pregnancy is also known to be a major cerebral palsy cause. Both viral and bacterial infection can cause brain injury in the developing fetus. Studies have indicated that placental and maternal infection may be linked to cerebral palsy.
Cerebral Palsy Therapy Tip #1
Get Help – Taking care of someone with cerebral palsy is a lot of hard work. Occasionally you have to take a break and spend some time alone. Ask family and friends for help and teach them how to do what you do so you can get away for a while.
Cerebral Palsy Therapy Tip #2
Stay Positive – Cerebral palsy is not a disease and will not get progressively worse. Accepting the condition for what it is and keeping a positive outlook will make life easier for you and the person you are caring for.