What Causes Cerebral Palsy in Infants?

You are proud parents of a newborn. While holding the child the doctor comes in with some bad news. He suspects that your child has cerebral palsy. How do you feel, grief, guilt, or both? Most parents are confused. It races through their minds of what they did wrong or what they could have done right to deter such a diagnosis. By knowing the causes of infant cerebral palsy, parents might elude both grief and guilt.

Infant cerebral palsy can be formed before birth. If the mother has a traumatic incident in which, through occurrence, the child’s blood flow to the brain is altered, cerebral palsy could be the outcome. The mother’s negative habits such as drinking alcohol or drug use can also cause circulatory problems within the fetus, thus causing the manifestations of the disorder. Diseases such as rubella or HIV can cause brain damage in the womb which could lead to cerebral palsy but usually results in the infant being born with mental retardation.

Complications during birth are the main cause for an infant cerebral palsy diagnosis. A umbilical cord around the neck at birth or a bad position at delivery can cause a lack of blood flow in cerebellum or ganglia. This region of the brain is responsible for motor function and movement. When damaged the body no longer recognizes signals from the brain and motor function is diminished. The muscular symptoms can range from mild to severe.

Caring for the infant with cerebral palsy takes a lot of patience and understanding. The parents should have faith to the multi-disciplinary team that is assigned to their child. Each symptom of cerebral palsy is as individualized as the child in which it inflicts. The team will have several specialists that will be able to diagnose the symptom and find the best treatment for the infant.