Cerebral Palsy is a group of disorders that affects the brain and the central nervous system. It causes partial muscle paralysis and certain physical disabilities. Your teen may also experience uncontrollable body movements or sudden tremors due to this condition. Cerebral Palsy may also adversely affect his learning, hearing, seeing, and thinking (1).
Causes Of Cerebral Palsy In Teens:
Due to a preterm birth before 28 weeks, a child’s brain does not develop properly. In such cases, the brain is more venerable to receive a lower amount of oxygen supply than normal. It can lead to internal bleeding and even cerebral Palsy, and the affected child may lose control over his body movements.
However, the major cause of teen cerebral palsy is sudden brain damage. If your teen has met with a terrible accident and suffered a severe hemorrhage or sudden trauma to the brain he may develop the condition of cerebral Palsy (2).
Some of the symptoms, that you can observe in teens with Cerebral Palsy are:
- Muscle stiffness
- Lack of muscle coordination and movement disorder
- Perceptual problems and intellectual disabilities
- Sudden tremors and seizures
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Speech disorders
- Vision and hearing problems
- Mental health (psychiatric) conditions
- Abnormal touch or pain perceptions
- Oral diseases
- Urinary incontinence (3)
Diagnosis Of Cerebral Palsy In Teens:
If your teen experiences the above symptoms, his doctor may conduct the following medical tests to diagnose Cerebral Palsy:
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): The MRI test uses the radio waves to produce a 3D image of your teen’s brain. It is easy to detect an internal brain hemorrhage through this medical test. The test is painless and usually takes 60 minutes.
- The Cranial Ultrasound: The inexpensive medical test uses high-frequency sound waves to generate an image of the brain. It could be one of the preliminary tests to diagnose any brain injury or abnormality.
- Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan: The test incorporates X-rays to obtain cross-sectional images of your teen’s brain. It helps the doctor easily spot any abnormality in the cerebrum.
- Electroencephalogram (EEG): If your teen experiences sudden seizures, the doctor may recommend an EEG test. The test will record the electrical activity of his brain and highlight any abnormal pattern easily.
- Electromyogram (EMG): The test studies the muscle activity and the function of the peripheral nerves. The doctor may advise your teen to undergo this test to confirm Cerebral Palsy.
- Blood Tests: The doctor may also advise your teen to undergo some pathological tests. (4)
Treating Cerebral Palsy In Teens:
It is not possible to cure cerebral Palsy completely. However, there are a few treatment procedures to help teenagers with cerebral palsy:
- Your teen can undergo certain physical therapies to make the body muscles more flexible and enhance his movement.
- The doctor may suggest your teen to go for speech therapy to overcome his language or speech disorders.
- Your teen’s doctor may prescribe medications such as diazepam, dantrolene and baclofen to reduce his muscle spasticity. Anticholinergic drugs too can help him control his abnormal body movement (5).
With proper diagnosis and treatment of Cerebral Palsy, your teen can learn to enjoy a better quality of life.
Does your teen suffer from Cerebral Palsy? What do you to help him? Share your experiences and advice with other moms here.