What are Some Types of Cerebral Palsy Treatment?

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  • Written By: Emma Lloyd
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 27 December 2019
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Cerebral palsy is a type of disorder in which brain damage impairs muscle control, body movement and balance. Children with the disorder reach developmental milestones such as sitting up, crawling, and walking, much later than children who follow a typical development timeline. Children with cerebral palsy may also be intellectually disabled. The disorder cannot be cured, but cerebral palsy treatment such as surgery, medication, and physical therapy can help manage many symptoms.

Children with cerebral palsy have brain damage in a part of the brain which is responsible for controlling muscle movement and tone. As a result they have poor muscle tone and muscle stiffness, and are often unable to control their movement. Poor coordination and balance are also common. Along with these movement issues, cerebral palsy may also cause intellectual disability, seizures, learning disability, and incontinence.

Cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage which occurs before or just after birth, and cannot be cured. With targeted cerebral palsy treatment which is begun early in childhood, however, it is possible to reduce the severity of the symptoms. Three important areas of cerebral palsy treatment are medication, surgery, and physical therapy.


Medications for treatment of cerebral palsy are prescribed to prevent seizures and to prevent abnormal or unwanted muscle movement. Examples of cerebral palsy treatment medications include dopaminergic drugs such as levodopa to relax muscles, and anti-seizure medications such as benzodiazepines. Dopaminergic drugs increase brain levels of dopamine, which decreases muscle rigidity and aids normal muscle movement. Botulinum toxin type A is another commonly-used drug; the muscle paralysis caused by the toxin helps reduce muscle spasms and rigidity.

Surgery is another often-used treatment for cerebral palsy which is usually carried out if medication is not effective. Surgery is also indicated when a procedure has a good chance of providing a long-lasting reduction in symptoms. There are several different surgical procedures which can be used to treat cerebral palsy, including dorsal rhizotomy, and stereotactic surgery. In dorsal rhizotomy, certain nerves are severed at the point at which they diverge from the spinal cord, to reduce muscle spasms. Stereotactic brain surgery is used to reduce muscle rigidity and tremors.

A third facet of cerebral palsy treatment is rehabilitation therapy, which may focus on speech and language skills and occupational therapy as well as physical exercises. Physical therapy to manage cerebral palsy symptoms typically includes muscle stretching and other exercises that improve muscle tone and flexibility. Occupational therapy helps people with cerebral palsy manage everyday tasks such as dressing and eating, which are difficult when muscle control is poor. Speech and language therapy helps people with poor control of oral muscles improve their verbal communication skills, or may help people who cannot speak to learn an alternative method of communicating.



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Post 1

I have a 12 year old son and has had CP since his birth and if he hears any sudden sound he will get severe seizures followed by wetting himself. Later he will go into a deep sleep for few minutes and come to back to a normal position. At present the doctor has given Gardinal 60 MG tablet and Epilex syrup every day during night. Please let me know is there any operation for the same problem.

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