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Cerebral palsy

Category: Illness or disabilities

Type

Involuntary

Introduction and description

She's joking, she in fact does have cerebral palsy and an interview
with her can be found in the observations

Cerebral palsy (CP) is defined as "a group of permanent disorders of the development of movement and posture, causing activity limitation, that are attributed to non-progressive disturbances that occurred in the developing fetal or infant brain."  There is no cure for Cerebral palsy, however, CP is not a progressive disorder - meaning the brain damage does not worsen.  The life expectancy of those with CP is less than that of the general population.

In 2007, in the USA and per 1,000 children, estimated prevalence was 2.4 for cerebral palsy. [PMID: 17261678].  It is comparable in Europe.

Different parts of the brain can be affected causing different symptoms

Cerebral palsy is generally due to damage occurring to the developing brain. This damage can occur during pregnancy, delivery, the first month of life, or less commonly in early childhood. Some forms of cerebral palsy are caused by brain damage later in life.  There are examples of people who have fallen and damaged their skull after which they have the illness.  This said, more than 75% of the cases are believed to result from issues that occur during pregnancy.

Cerebral palsy is essentially due to brain damage to the parts of the brain that control movement, balance, and posture.  But saying it is due to brain damage does not give us the cause, we need to know what caused the brain damage.  For example, the damage during childbirth might have been caused by a difficult birth, but that produced in pregnancy may be caused by heavy metals such as mercury or nanoparticles.  As there is no cure, prevention is exceptionally important and to prevent something, we need to know why it happened.

Cerebral palsy has been documented throughout history with the first known descriptions occurring in the work of Hippocrates in the 5th century BCE.

Symptoms

Defining symptoms

Cerebral palsy is essentially the name for a symptom not a cause.  The defining symptoms are Muscle and joint problems

 

Muscle problems - The person may have poor coordination, stiff muscles, weak muscles, and tremors. There can be ‘contractures’ - permanently fixed, tight muscles and joints. Swallowing may be difficult. 

Babies with cerebral palsy cannot roll over, sit, crawl, or walk as early as other children their age and an infant with CP may not be able to suck, swallow or chew.  The baby’s body may be either very floppy or very stiff.

There may be “spasticity, spasms, other involuntary movements (e.g., facial gestures), unsteady gait, problems with balance, and decreased muscle mass”. Scissor walking (where the knees come in and cross) and toe walking “which can contribute to a gait reminiscent of a marionette” are common.  

Medics love to invent new terms to make themselves appear important and clever, so if you hear them use the word  Apraxia it means ‘an inability to co-ordinate muscle and mind’ – as described above!  Practically speaking, though, this may mean that even simple tasks like eating with a knife and fork, or combing one’s hair are impossible.

Symptoms may range from slight clumsiness at the mild end of the spectrum to impairments so severe that they render coordinated movement virtually impossible at the other end of the spectrum.

R J Mitte has cerebral palsy

Skeletal disorders - In order for bones to attain their normal shape and size, they require the stresses from normal musculature. “Osseous findings mirror the specific muscular deficits in a given person with CP. The shafts of the bones are often thin (gracile) and become thinner during growth. When compared to these thin shafts (diaphyses), the centres (metaphyses) often appear quite enlarged (ballooning). With lack of use, articular cartilage may atrophy, leading to narrowed joint spaces”. People with CP tend to be shorter in height than the average person

Some doctors employ a further classification of these symptoms.  The classification is not a mutually exclusive one, a person can have all three types.  For example,

  • Spastic cerebral palsy  - those with stiff muscles have spastic cerebral palsy.  Spastic cerebral palsy, is by far the most common type of overall cerebral palsy, occurring in upwards of 70% of all cases.  It results from an upper motor neuron lesion in the brain as well as the corticospinal tract or the motor cortex.
  • Ataxic cerebral palsy - those with poor coordination have ataxic cerebral palsy.  Ataxia-type symptoms can be the result of damage to the cerebellum. Ataxia is a less common type of cerebral palsy, occurring between 5% and 10% of all cases.
  • Athetoid cerebral palsy  - Athetoid cerebral palsy or dyskinetic cerebral palsy results in involuntary motions - writhing movements. People with dyskinetic CP have trouble holding themselves in an upright, steady position for sitting or walking. About 10% of individuals with CP are classified as dyskinetic.   The damage is to the extrapyramidal motor system and/or pyramidal tract and to the basal ganglia.

But this neither helps the patient or in reality the therapist, as treatment cannot be based solely on this classification, and in practise the symptoms vary a lot between people. 

Evan O'Hanlon has cerebral palsy - we have his story in the observations

Other symptoms

In addition to these defining symptoms, other symptoms may or may not be present, some [not all] attributable to more extensive brain damage.  Other symptoms include

  • Gregg Mozgala has cerebral palsy and is now a ballet
    dancer - see the observations
    Skeletal abnormalities – other skeletal abnormalities often apparent on birth may include, spinal curvature, a small jawbone, or a small head.    
  • Problems with the 5 senses - Problems with sensation, vision, and hearing. Of those with CP,  at least 42% have problems with their vision.  Eyes are moved and focussed using muscles, so this is simply an extension of the muscle problems
  • Pain – pain is common and is associated with tight or shortened muscles, abnormal posture, stiff joints, etc.
  • Insomnia - There is a high likelihood of chronic sleep disorders as a consequence of the pain and muscle problems
  • Urinary and faecal incontinence - A baby is incontinent full stop, but this may continue long after the baby has become a child or even adult, because being able to be continent is dependent on muscles.
  • Communication difficulties - Speech and language disorders are common in people with cerebral palsy. The incidence of dysarthria [difficulty in speaking] is estimated to range from 31% to 88%.  Muscles control lungs, the larynx, the facial muscles and mouth, and the tongue is a muscle, all of which are used in order to speak, so these problems can have a knock-on effect.  The poor person may actually want to communicate and have the ability mentally to do so, but be prevented from speaking by the muscle problems
  • Harold Elwood Yuker, a psychologist and educator at Hofstra
    University, Distinguished Professor of Psychology and a founding
    director of the Center for the Study of Attitudes Toward Persons
    with Disabilities, is widely recognised as a critic of the tendency
    of some disabled people to keep to themselves. His motto was
    The most important thing for anyone with a disability is to learn
    to get along in a nondisabled world. He has cerebral palsy.
    Learning and language difficultiesApparent difficulty with the ability to think and reason. Of those with CP, about 23–56% supposedly have ‘learning disabilities’.  But, if the person has difficulties with speaking or using a pen or computer then they may appear to be more disabled than they actually are.   This is an essential point.  People with cerebral palsy may only have difficulties because they cannot turn the page of a book, or play with the keys of a computer, or pick up a pen and write.  “it is important not to underestimate the capabilities of a person with CP and to give them every opportunity to learn.”  Hopefully we are moving to a world in which technology can be devised to get round all these difficulties.  If you have a child who appears to have these problems just remind yourself that you may actually have a genius trapped in a useless body.
  • Epileptic seizures - Seizures occur in about one third of people with CP. Generally speaking it is the seizures that cause any hallucinatory or other mystical spiritual experiences.  Of those with CP, about 28% have epilepsy
Keith Johnson (born July 2, 1980) is an American
Paralympic soccer player. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy
when he was young

The accepted theory is, that while the symptoms may get more noticeable over the first few years of life, the underlying problems do not worsen over time.  The brain damage is done.  Overall, this rather indicates that cerebral palsy is not caused by a pathogen.  If it was caused by a pathogen, the damage would continue, as it does with muscular dystrophy. 

A pathogen such as a virus, bacteria, parasite, or fungal infection spreads because it is live and reproduces, and the damage will as a consequence worsen.   Even non live pathogens – heavy metals, insecticides, pesticides, food additives and other toxins, may continue to do damage over time, often in other organs as well. So no pathogen.

But, those who have taken the time to do surveys have found that in older people who are not helped, they do get worse with time.  The brain atrophies because no stimulation is given.  So lack of brain activity can have the same effect as a pathogen.

Cause

For the first time on this site, we are going to state categorically that the main cause of cerebral palsy is doctor and medical staff error.  People make mistakes, and the jobs that doctors and medical staff do, sometimes mean they are presented with types of cases they have never been faced with before and have to do something about, there and then - no looking up in text books or searching for papers, the patient needs help at that moment.

Arun Shourie's son Aditya has cerebral palsy.  Arun refutes
religion by saying if there was a father figure God, as
religions say, how come He allows this.  A good point –
but then the definition of God religions have devised
is their invention.

And sometimes the decisions they make, under great pressure, are not the right ones.

But, coupled with the errors that come with being human and always learning, come some major errors that could be avoided -  mismanagement of pregnancies, poor delivery methods, and appalling advice from those who  teach or advise doctors, as to diet and medication.

So we will concentrate on these, because error when a doctor is doing his level best to help and save you, is not something to be punished, but to be forgiven. 

But error by the [often sponsored] research staff who advise doctors and the [often theoretical and out of date] teaching hospitals, who ought to know their subject, needs to be corrected.

Difficult birth

The Roman Emperor Claudius (10 BCE–54 CE) is suspected of
having CP, as historical records describe him as having several
physical problems in line with the condition.

In babies that are born at term the main cause is simply mishandling of the birth – staff who are unable to handle problems with the placenta, for example and problems with the presentation of the baby.  There are still instances of damage due to a forceps delivery; a delivery requiring either the use of instruments or an emergency Caesarean section.

Being a twin is a risky business anyway, but being the last twin delivered or one of multiple births, carries additional risks. Here it is not the doctor who is attempting to deliver the baby who is at fault, but those who perhaps advise fertility treatment, especially in women who under normal circumstances would not be able to conceive.

Hypoxia

A small number of cases are caused by lack of oxygen during birth.  Again, this is often caused by human error, but not error that should be pursued, as the birth may have been exceptionally difficult.  Our blame culture has made doctors very cagey about being honest in these circumstances; as Wikipedia puts it.  “There is considerable controversy over the diagnosis of birth asphyxia due to medicolegal reasons. Because of its lack of precision, the term is eschewed in modern obstetrics”.

Hypoxia can be caused by a drop in the mum’s blood pressure , or some other substantial interference with blood flow to the infant's brain during delivery, like a twisted cord.   Another cause of asphyxiation in a new born is from breathing meconium into the lungs.

Meconium is the earliest stool of an infant. It is composed of materials ingested during the time the infant spends in the uterus, and is viscous and sticky like tar.  Meconium is normally retained in the infant's bowel until after birth, but sometimes it is expelled into the amniotic fluid prior to birth during labour and is usually a sign of fetal distress. A baby who breathes this into their lungs is going to be in distress anyway, either way hypoxia results.
Medical staff may aspirate the meconium from the nose and mouth of a newborn immediately after delivery in the event the baby shows signs of respiratory distress”. 

Few [cases of CP] are solely due to severe hypoxia or ischemia at birth. This common myth has held back research in causation. The cost of litigation has devastating effects on maternity services with unnecessarily high caesarean delivery rates and subsequent maternal morbidity and mortality.
CP rates have remained the same for 50 years despite a 6-fold increase in caesarean birth. Epidemiological studies have shown that the origins of most CP are prior to labour.
Increased risk is associated with preterm delivery, intrauterine infection, fetal growth restriction, multiple pregnancy, and placental abnormalities. Hypoxia at birth may be primary or secondary to preexisting pathology PMID:  26003063

Francesca Martinez has cerebral palsy

So we need to be concentrating on preterm delivery [premature births], intrauterine infection, fetal growth restriction, multiple pregnancy, and placental abnormalities.

Infertility treatment

As mentioned above the increase in the use of Infertility treatments in those diagnosed as Infertile, may cause multiple births, and multiple births carry the risk of one or more of the babies having poor development. 

Health disparities are observed in all fields of medicine and reproductive health is not immune to this phenomenon. The incidence of women using infertility treatments to conceive is increasing. Women undergoing assisted reproduction appear to be at increased risk of adverse outcomes, and minority women tend to be at even greater risk. This article examines several adverse obstetrical outcomes including preterm birth, congenital malformations, and preeclampsia among women receiving infertility treatments compared with those who conceive spontaneously. It will further examine societal costs associated with these procedures.   PMID:  23934694

Being born prematurely

Francesca - author of the book above

Between 40% and 50% of all children who develop cerebral palsy were born prematurely. In those who are born with a weight between 1 kg and 1.5 kg, CP occurs in 6%. Among those born before 28 weeks of gestation, it occurs in 11%. While in those who are born between 34 and 37 weeks the risk is 0.4%.

Those born prematurely will always run the risk that their brain has not fully developed.  But some Mums, because of their age or previous history may be classified as ‘at risk’ of preterm delivery, stillbirths or miscarriage. 

And here we have an added complexity, because Mums who are ‘at risk’ may be given pharmaceuticals, and the pharmaceuticals have a very very unhealthy record for producing cerebral palsy.

Being mis-prescribed pharmaceuticals

Let us start with some basic information about all pregnant Mums.  This paper categorically states that there appears to be no added risk of developing CP in a mother with infections:

Compared with women with no evidence of antepartum infection during pregnancy, those women with infections excluding chorioamnionitis may not be at an increased risk of delivering an infant with CP.  PMID:  27398702

and yet the paper above says, intrauterine infection can be a risk.  Why the apparent discrepancy?

If the mother’s immune system  is functioning at maximum , it is capable of dealing with the infection and protecting the baby.  In other words, the correct medical approach should be to help the mother boost the immune system, so that all pathogens and toxins, from viruses to heavy metals, are dealt with by that system.

But there is a risk if the immune system is compromised.  So the overall conclusion is that any mother runs the risk of cerebral palsy in their child, if their immune system is in any way compromised.  So what compromises the immune system?

Stress and fear compromise the immune system.  Nutritional deprivation compromises the immune system.  Both these can be healed by relaxation methods and good food. NOT SUPPLEMENTS - good food.   Neither requires a doctor.

What else compromises the immune system?  Pharmaceuticals compromise the immune system. 

  • Nasal sprays – often with anti-histamine in them can result in entry of a pathogen because the natural histamine reaction of the body against pathogens has been suppressed
  • Anti-histamines in general work against the body’s natural histamine defence against pathogens, including those in cough medicines
  • Immunosuppressants – suppress the immune system full stop and are implicated in causing hundreds of illnesses
  • Antacids and PPIs – suppress the acid in the stomach which is there to kill pathogens.  Indigestion and GERD is not caused by too much acid, but by too little when the body’s sympathetic nervous system is in operation – stress and fear again.
  • Antibiotics – destroy the intestinal flora and it is this natural flora that prevents pathogens entering the blood stream.  Our misuse of antibiotics has resulted in numerous illnesses

According to eHealthme around 750 pharmaceuticals have been implicated in causing  immunosuppression, as at October 2016, around 650 can cause immune dysfunction, around 800 can cause immune system disorders. Here are some stats on immune system disorders caused by pharms, from eHealthme [USA only, from FDA and SEDA only]

It is worth adding that anti-depressants, acne treatments and benzodiazepines are directly implicated in causing cerebral palsy according to the eHealthme site.

Here we have specific advice that says that doctor prescribed antibiotics are responsible for cerebral palsy:

Epidemiological studies have suggested a link between maternal infection and preterm delivery. In 2001, however, the Oracle II trial, including about 6000 pregnant women, showed that routine antibiotic administration (erythromycin or amoxicillin + clavulanic acid) in cases of spontaneous preterm labour without membrane rupture or clear signs of infection had no immediate benefits for the newborn child. A systematic review subsequently confirmed this finding. In 2008, follow-up of 3196 of the children born to mothers enrolled in this study, up to the age of 7 years, showed a statistically significant increase in cerebral palsy among children whose mothers had received erythromycin or amoxicillin + clavulanic acid. In practice, antibiotics should not be routinely prescribed to women with preterm labour … due to an increased risk of cerebral palsy.  PMID:  21355382

But they are.  And they are routinely prescribed to sickly infants too, with much the same result. 

We found …. an increased risk of cerebral palsy or epilepsy associated with macrolide prescribing in pregnancy adding to the evidence that macrolide use is associated with serious harm.  PMID:  25807115

 

And here is a list of macrolides.  US FDA-approved :

  • Azithromycin -
  • Clarithromycin
  • Erythromycin
  • Fidaxomicin
  • Telithromycin

Non-US FDA-approved:

  • Carbomycin A
  • Josamycin
  • Kitasamycin
  • Midecamycin/midecamycin acetate
  • Oleandomycin
  • Solithromycin
  • Spiramycin - approved in the EU, and in other countries
  • Troleandomycin - used in Italy and Turkey
  • Tylosin/tylocine - used in animals
  • Roxithromycin

The final straw was this paper

J Gynecol Obstet Biol Reprod (Paris). 2016 Oct 21. pii: S0368-2315(16)30109-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jgyn.2016.09.008. [Prevention of preterm birth complications by antenatal corticosteroid administration].  [Article in French]  Schmitz T1.

To evaluate short- and long-term benefits and risks associated with antenatal administration of a single course of corticosteroids and the related strategies: multiple and rescue courses………….  Antenatal corticosteroid administration is recommended to every woman at risk of preterm delivery before 34 weeks of gestation (grade A). Repeated courses of antenatal corticosteroids are not recommended (grade A). Rescue courses are not recommended (Professional consensus).  PMID:  27776846


Another name for a corticosteroid is an immune suppressant.  In other words, the medical profession [in France at least] think it is a good idea to suppress the mother’s immune system, if there is a danger of stillbirth or miscarriage, or of having a premature baby.

The medical research community have gone mad.

 

Inherited genes – Nanoparticles and viruses

Until recently, 1-2% of CP had been linked to causative mutations. Recent genetic studies of sporadic CP cases using new-generation exome sequencing show that 14% of cases have likely causative single-gene mutations and up to 31% have clinically relevant copy number variations. The genetic variants are heterogeneous and require function investigations to prove causation. Whole genome sequencing, fine scale copy number variant investigations, and gene expression studies may extend the percentage of cases with a genetic pathway. Clinical risk factors could act as triggers for CP where there is genetic susceptibility. These new findings should refocus research about the causes of these complex and varied neurodevelopmental disorders.  PMID:  26003063

We cannot leave it there, however, because we now need to know what caused the mutation in the genes?  In doing this we need also to consider the following finding.  Brains and the cells forming brains can be damaged by inflammation:

Microglial cells have been implicated in neuroinflammation-mediated injury in the brain, including neurodevelopmental disorders such as cerebral palsy (CP) and autism. Pro-inflammatory activation of microglial cells results in the impairment of their neuroprotective functions, leading to an exaggerated, ongoing immune dysregulation that can persist long after the initial insult.  PMID:  27004516

But there has to be a CAUSE for this inflammation – so the pathogen causing the inflammation may well also cause the mutations.  First the nanoparticles:

The potential health effects of exposure to nanomaterials (NMs) is currently heavily studied. Among the most often reported impact is DNA damage, also termed genotoxicity. While several reviews relate the DNA damage induced by NMs and the techniques that can be used to prove such effects, the question of impact of NMs on DNA repair processes has never been specifically reviewed. The present review article proposes to fill this gap of knowledge by critically describing the DNA repair processes that could be affected by nanoparticle (NP) exposure.  PMID:  27794034

aaah the joys of the unregulated research community - they release nanoparticles and the entire medical community are then expected to handle the fall-out from their actions.  Perhaps worse, the medics are held legally responsible and threatened with being sued, when all along, it was the researcher, tucked away in his research lab.....

Next the viruses.................

Newborn screening cards of 443 white case patients with cerebral palsy and 883 white controls were tested for viral nucleic acids from enteroviruses and herpes viruses by using polymerase chain reaction. Herpes group A viruses included herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), and human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8), and herpes group B viruses included varicella zoster virus (VZV) and human herpes viruses 6 and 7 (HHV-6 and HHV-7).  The prevalence of viral nucleic acids in the control population was high: 39.8% of controls tested positive, and the prevalence was highest in preterm babies. The detection of herpes group B viral nucleic acids increased the risk of developing cerebral palsy (odds ratio 1.68, 95% confidence interval 1.09 to 2.59).   Perinatal exposure to neurotropic viruses is associated with preterm delivery and cerebral palsy.  PMID:  16399770

so the presence of viruses increased the risk of premature birth and also that of cerebral palsy.

So if we summarise, cerebral palsy during pregnancy can be the result of being exposed to pathogens such as viruses and nanoparticles, that cause inflammation in the underdeveloped brain.  These pathogens may also produce any number of other brain disorders, but by separating the disorders and labelling them we have lost the overall picture that this is brain damage.  They may be the same pathogens that cause Alzheimer's for example.

The risk of brain damage is greatly increased if the baby or mother has an immune system which has been suppressed or is not functioning correctly.  And this may occur if the mother and/or baby is nutritionally deprived, stressed and being given pharmaceuticals.  Around 2,400 pharmaceuticals prescribed by the doctor on pharmaceutical company advice, research agency advice and the teaching hospitals advice, depress the immune system.

Vaccines

Virus latency (or viral latency) is the ability of a pathogenic virus to lie dormant (latent) within a cell, denoted as the lysogenic part of the viral life cycle.  Latency is the phase in certain viruses' life cycles in which, after initial infection, proliferation of virus particles ceases. However, the viral genome is not fully eradicated. The result of this is that the virus can reactivate and begin producing large amounts of viral progeny without the host being infected by new outside virus, denoted as the lytic part of the viral life cycle, and stays within the host indefinitely.

An example of a family of viruses able to do this is the Herpes Virus family, Herpesviridae, all of which establish latent infection. Herpes virus include Chicken-pox virus and Herpes simplex viruses (HSV-1, HSV-2).  The Gammaherpesvirinae subfamily establishes itself in cells of the immune system, such as B-cells in the case of Epstein-Barr Virus.  In the case of varicella zoster virus, after an initial acute infection (chickenpox) the virus lies dormant until reactivated as herpes zoster.  Persistent infection by the human papilloma virus may lead to cervical cancer as a result of cellular transformation. Cytomegalovirus [CMV] is able to establish latent infection, as is the Rubella virus.  The mumps virus acts like a latent virus, the rubeola or measles virus is established as a persistent virus.

And it does this when the immune system is not working well.

The viruses used in many vaccines are live viruses- called attenuated but live nevertheless, - as such a vaccination may actually give you or your baby, a latent version of the viruses above.  Thus you may not have had any of these viruses, but once vaccinated you will have. 

Let us now suppose that during pregnancy your immune system falters - for the reasons mentioned above.  The latent virus given to you by vaccination may suddenly re-appear and cause disease.  And one of those diseases may be Cerebral palsy.

Treatment

Cerebral palsy is a very difficult condition to diagnose correctly.  In theory, the earlier CP is diagnosed correctly, the better the opportunities are to provide the child with physical and educational help.  But the real danger with any form of diagnosis at this age is the danger of THE LABEL.

..... nor are they a LABEL

There is the tendency for many people who are labelled with disabilities – given a name like ‘muscular dystrophy’, or ‘cerebral palsy’ or ‘autism’ or any number of other types of brain damage that affect parts of the body, that that is it.

They have been labelled, they are ‘disabled’ and that is how they must behave. 

But the brain is not a fixed and rigid thing, it is plastic, and areas that may not normally have been used for a process can in fact be taught new tricks.  If the brain is the hardware, the software can be reallocated.  The processor on which the software is now running may not be quite as purpose made for the job as the normal one, but it may still work fine, for the purposes of getting about and speaking or learning.  You might be able to walk and dance like a dream, but still have a bit of difficulty threading a needle.  But then so does my husband and no one calls him 'disabled'.

Dr. Stephen A. Paget, chief of rheumatology at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, has said.

“In the past, people thought that a neurological deficit was fixed and immutable, now there’s this whole concept of neuroplasticity: the neurological system has this ability to change itself and constantly grow.”

Remember that phrase the brain can change itself and constantly grow

The other difficulties with attaching labels to people is that the poor person is treated by medical staff as a label and not a person.  The problems are more likely to arise once the person has gone beyond the stage of a little child.  Little children are lovable, but once the person is an adolescent the change in approach by medical staff and other people may be very hurtful:

In my experience, you come to some authority and are treated tactlessly; it’s awful, quite simply, because it happens often. I feel like I have to work so hard to convince people that I need help.

I think the keyword here is respect, for all of us the treatment must be based on the phrase.  ‘Do as you would be done by’.

We have provided a number of observations which show that a person has been able to retrain their brain with a bit of help from other people.  Greg Mozgala, for example, has done just that. Before, his gait was extreme enough that it would draw stares on the street. (“The lurch,” he and his helper Ms. Rogoff have come to call it.) Now, when he is fully concentrating, a passer-by might have to look twice to realize he has a disability at all.

The comedien Maysoon Zayid was helped by her Dad, whose persistence and never say no attitude must have been an enormous help.  

A lot of people with CP don't walk, but my parents didn't believe in "can't." My father's mantra was, "You can do it, yes you can can."
So, if my three older sisters were mopping, I was mopping. If my three older sisters went to public school, my parents would sue the school system and guarantee that I went too, and if we didn't all get A's, we all got my mother's slipper.
My father taught me how to walk when I was five years old by placing my heels on his feet and just walking. Another tactic that he used is he would dangle a dollar bill in front of me and have me chase it.
My inner stripper was very strong.


Treatment should thus be designed around exercises – learning and physical exercises that help the mind to reallocate its functions.  For example:

  • Occupational therapy and physical therapy regimens of assisted stretching, strengthening, functional tasks, and/or targeted physical activity and exercise are usually the chief ways to keep CP well-managed.  András Pető, for example, developed a system to teach children with CP how to walk and perform other basic movements. Pető's system became the foundation for conductive education, widely used for children with CP today [see observations].
  • Music therapy has proved very effective and enjoyable for many children[see observations]
  • Speech therapy – may help those with difficulties in speaking, but singing therapy appears to work better as it combines music with speech
  • Assistive technology – may help everything from braces to help with walking to computer technology aimed at helping a person communicate
  • Water and swimming therapy – which has had some good results
  • Hippotherapy – riding horses

Some children have near normal adult lives with appropriate treatment.

Keep remembering that, unless the doctor has given you pathogens in his treatment, your child is not suffering from a pathogen, thus no medication is needed only therapy, and rehabilitation is a real possibility worth pursuing.

Ideally pharmaceuticals and surgery should be avoided, we repeat, your child is not suffering from a pathogen, thus no medication is needed , though plants may help with stiff muscles helping with pain relief – see the general section on muscle problems.

Here is something to keep in mind, if you believe you think you should ask for help from the very people who put you in that position, they have more tricks up their sleeves:

A six-year-old Iraqi boy, who had cerebral palsy (CP) and epilepsy since the age of 9-months, had received VPA to control his seizures. He developed skin discoloration followed by nodules that disseminated proximally from the lower extremities to the groin, face, ears and oral cavity, and then he died from severe respiratory distress after 110 days from the disease evolution. KS diagnosis was proved by a skin biopsy…. the patient was of … HIV-seronegative status.
…. recent studies showed the link of VPA with the reactivation of HHV-8. Moreover, accumulated experimental and clinical data elucidated that VPA induces T-cell suppression.

Our report demonstrates a … rapidly progressing paediatric KS case and highlights the possible role of the 5-years' administration of VPA and its challenging effect on cellular immunity based on recent studies. Thus, VPA could have promoted the development of the KS in our patient. PMID:  27459853


Finally there is one extremely interesting symptom that rarely if ever is mentioned.  Here is a person describing their feelings:

Did you know that cerebral palsy is so much more of everything? ( ) We are so exaggerated. If we’re happy, then we’re happy ... it gets exaggerated and if we are sad, we are exaggeratedly sad.

A person with this level of emotional involvement in life has to be provided with an outlet – whether they are sad or happy.  It means that all treatment has to be based on CREATIVE and ACTIVE pursuits -  painting;  fashion design or making collages;  acting and performing; story telling [and reading stories] – fantasy, imagination;  music – both listening and making music; purposeful enjoyable exercise -  swimming, riding, nature walks, maybe assisted bicycle riding on a three wheeler.  Laughing and LOVE. 

Relaxation is key, as is the removal of stress in their lives.  The worst thing for a cerebral palsy sufferer is to reduce them to inactivity, to keep them indoors and subject them to stress.

I’ve been working part-time so that my body can handle it. Quite a few people have worked full-time and had to back off and are now on disability.

References and further reading

  • Drumming Therapy experience in a Child with Cerebral Palsy and Autism - July 18, 2012 Stephen Dolle Neurosciences
  • Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Dec;213(6):779-88. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2015.05.034. Epub 2015 May 21.  Cerebral palsy: causes, pathways, and the role of genetic variants.  MacLennan AH1, Thompson SC2, Gecz J3.
  • Clinical Rehabilitation 2007; 21: 432–441  The lived body – experiences from adults with cerebral palsy - Karin Sandström, Department of Health and Society/Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Sweden

Related observations