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Cerebral palsy is caused by traumatic injury to a developing brain, including the parts of the brain responsible for motor control, coordination and balance. Damage to different parts of the brain’s motor control centers causes different types of cerebral palsy. The level of disability depends on the severity and timing of the brain injury.
There are several incidents that can damage the developing brain. For example, an infection may inhibit the neurological development of neurons and synapses in the brain or trauma may occur during or after birth.
Things that can disrupt or hinder the healthy development of a child’s brain include:
It usually takes up to 18 months to diagnose a child with cerebral palsy, but it could take longer for mild cases. Doctors may use computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to take images of the child’s brain. These scans may reveal damage in key parts of the brain that give clues to the cause. However, it isn’t always possible to determine the cause of cerebral palsy.
The areas of the brain that control motor skills and movement are the motor cortex, pyramidal tract, cerebellum and the basal ganglia. All of these components relay the impulses from the brain to the nerves and muscles that control movement. Damage to any of these parts of the brain may cause cerebral palsy.
Although obstetric care is the best it’s ever been, a small percentage of birth injuries could have been prevented. These injuries are caused by severe medical neglect.
Scenarios that can lead to injuries at birth include failures to:
These scenarios aren’t typical and result from careless medical procedures in the delivery room. Regardless of the cause of a child’s cerebral palsy, there are many treatment options available to help them live as normal a life as possible.
If you suspect that your child’s cerebral palsy was a result of a preventable birth injury, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Get in touch with our experienced lawyers and start your free case evaluation today.
Kimberlee is a writer and researcher who is passionate about helping children with disabilities enjoy a happy, healthy life. She works closely with our attorneys to create content that educates the families and caretakers of children with cerebral palsy.