Cerebral Palsy Blog

Cerebral Palsy Blog

How to Prevent Cerebral Palsy from an Infection

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Many cases of cerebral palsy are linked to oxygen deprivation during or around the time of birth, but a significant proportion are linked to infections that develop a few days after the baby is born. More than a quarter of all cerebral palsy cases are related to infections that occur within 28 days after birth.

While there isn't much that you may be able to do to reduce the risk of oxygen deprivation during or around the time of birth-medical negligence may usually be one of the causes of such deprivation-an infant’s chances of developing cerebral palsy after a brain infection can be reduced. The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention recommends the following steps to reduce Infections during childhood that can lead to cerebral palsy.

Severe jaundice, a condition known as hyperbilirubinemia, if left untreated, can cause severe brain injury, leading to cerebral palsy. Jaundice must be treated as soon as symptoms are detected.

Do not miss out on vaccinations to prevent infections. Certain infections can affect the brain, leading to cerebral palsy.

Avoid accidents in the home that can increase the risk of brain damage. For instance, use window guards, child guards and baby gates to help reduce the risk of fall accidents from open windows or stairs.

Make sure that your child is restrained in an infant or child car seat while traveling in a car.

Your child should play in a playground that is covered with a shock-absorbent material that reduces the risk of traumatic injury to the head during a fall.

Children must be monitored when they are around a swimming pool at all times. You cannot take your eyes away from your child even for a moment. The kind of oxygen loss that occurs when a child is under water for a few seconds can cause cerebral palsy-like deficiencies.

Study Points to Gender Differences in Newborn Recovery from Brain Injury

Monday, February 03, 2014

Gender differences in recovery patterns after a brain injury during birth have been evident for a while now. Doctors have been aware that male children, who have suffered a brain injury during around the time of birth, may suffer more extensive damage, compared to girls. Recent research conducted by The Johns Hopkins Children's Center provides reasons for such gender differences in recovery.

The results of the research were presented recently in a scientific journal, and seem to indicate that there are inherent gender-based differences in the way the brains of newborn babies react to a sex hormone called estradiol. Those differences in the reaction to this hormone could cause those gender-specific responses to brain damage, and consequent cell repair. According to the researchers, the study unveiled what they call “intriguing differences” in the way male and female newborn brains respond to a brain injury, after oxygen deprivation.

A brain injury due to oxygen deprivation during or around the time of birth typically can cause long-term brain damage, resulting in conditions like cerebral palsy. The researchers say that the neurons in a newborn baby's brains undergo different types of cell damage, following oxygen deprivation depending on the gender of the child. However, the study which was based on experiments on mice, also found that male newborn babies’ brains, although they are at a much higher risk of extensive brain damage after a birth injury, may also respond better to certain cell damage-blocking treatments.

While oxygen deprivation is one of the more commonly understood causes of cerebral palsy, it is not the only one. Cerebral palsy can also occur as a result of complications during childbirth, maternal infections during pregnancy, and excessive jaundice in the newborn baby.