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What are the Different Types of Cerebral Palsy Treatment?

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  • Written By: Susan Grindstaff
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 06 August 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Cerebral palsy treatment typically involves a combination of physical and environmental therapies, medications, and surgery. There is no known cure for the disease, but by using the treatments available, many sufferers can manage the disease and lead vigorous lifestyles. Research has a long way to go, but science is coming to a better understanding of the disease and its causes.

Physical therapy is considered by many doctors to be the most important cerebral palsy treatment. The aim of this type of therapy is to stretch and strengthen bones, joints, and muscles. Improving muscle mass can often lead to improvements in balance, which can in turn improve overall mobility. Physical therapy is generally administered by a trained professional, though parents and caregivers are often taught some of the basic exercises so they can administer them at home.

Many people who suffer from cerebral palsy may need special equipment to help them go about their daily lives. Depending on the severity of their condition, they may have problems doing simple tasks such as opening doors or using a knife or a can opener. An occupational therapist is trained to assess such difficulties and to recommend alternate ways of performing these tasks or special tools that could make the tasks easier to accomplish.

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Medications prescribed for cerebral palsy treatment include drugs such as diazepam and anti-cholinergics. Diazepam is a drug that sometimes helps control seizures, which is often symptomatic of cerebral palsy. Anti-cholinergics help those patients who suffer from spasms or tics, another symptom of the disease. Alcohol injected directly into muscles is sometimes used for sufferers with severe and frequent spasms.

Surgery is another common cerebral palsy treatment. Surgeons can implant medications directly into affected areas. These medications can then be released by a pump. This can expedite the drug delivery process and cut down on the number of medications needed daily. Sometimes surgery on muscles and tendons can help patients regain mobility and decrease the need for some medication and other therapies.

Many people who have cerebral palsy have problems with vision. In some cases, affected eye muscles can make focusing difficult. In these instances, eyeglasses or eye surgery is sometimes necessary.

Psychological counseling, both for the patients and their immediate families, is considered a good idea. Dealing with the stress of the disease is often difficult for all involved, and studies indicate that those who undergo this type of therapy are better able to manage their condition. Counseling of this type is also recommended for teachers and others involved with the patient on a regular basis.

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