What causes cerebral palsy?

It is estimated that nearly 20 percent of the people with cerebral palsy developed the condition due to an injury during birth.

Pregnant mothers or the spouses and partners of pregnant women in Iowa should be able to enjoy the excitement that comes with preparing to have a new baby. Things like selecting nursery décor to naming a new child deserve to be the focus of expectant parents.

New parents also deserve the right to revel in their new loved one and the little milestones along the developmental path. However, when some of these milestones are not met, concerns may surface. Even a baby that seemed developmentally fine at six months of age may at three years old begin to exhibit signs of cerebral palsy .

Cerebral palsy is a condition affecting motor control that can result from brain injuries sustained during labor and delivery. The United Cerebral Palsy Association estimates that more than 760,000 people in the U.S. have cerebral palsy. As many as 20 percent of all cerebral palsy cases may be attributed to birth injuries according to WebMD.

Risk factors for cerebral palsy during birth

There are multiple things that may put babies at risk for contracting cerebral palsy. One of these things is trauma to the head during the delivery process. Another is insufficient treatment for newborn jaundice. A third is undetected or untreated infection during pregnancy or delivery. Finally, reduced oxygen delivery via reduced blood supply to babies during labor and delivery can contribute to the development of cerebral palsy.

Living with cerebral palsy

Some diseases and conditions are progressive, like Alzheimer's. This means that they will get worse over time. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes explains that cerebral palsy is not progressive. However, cerebral palsy is also not curable. The symptoms of cerebral palsy may be managed and may even improve slightly with the right treatment.

People may experience mild or very severe forms of cerebral palsy. Children and people with this condition may have difficulty speaking, eating, walking and performing other tasks that require motor control. While many are able to walk even if a bit stiffly, others are bound to wheelchairs.

In addition to muscular control and speech, some people experience seizures or difficulties with their sight and hearing. Treatments range from physical, occupational and speech therapy to medications, orthotics and even surgeries.

Parents who suspect that their preschoolers may have cerebral palsy should discuss their child's condition with a doctor. However, Iowa residents are also encouraged to talk with an experienced attorney to learn about pursuing compensation for what may be a birth injury.