In most cases, all medical tests are normal, and we cannot figure out the cause for cerebral palsy. In some cases, CP is caused by lack of oxygen to the brain or to genetic disorders that lead to abnormal brain structure or biochemical function. If there is a concern over the cause of a child's problems or if there is the possibility of a treatable illness, then it is often necessary to perform specific testing including a CT or MRI scan, as well as blood tests for genetic abnormalities or chemical disorders.
Although the symptoms of cerebral palsy can be improved with therapy and in some cases medications, there is no general cure. In rare cases, CP is caused by a particular treatable disease, but more commonly the brain injury cannot be reversed. The goal of treating CP symptoms is to maximize the child's ability to participate in social and functional activities of everyday life. Treatment relies upon the ability of uninjured parts of the child's brain to take over the function of the injured parts. Treatment is also important to ensure that muscles and tendons do not shorten and that joints do not stiffen over time. Currently available treatments include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, medications, botulinum toxin injection, and orthopedic surgery.
To schedule an appointment, or for further information, please contact the Neurology Clinic.