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Cerebral Palsy is a neurologic condition.

It is caused by brain damage or


deformity in the growth of the brain of a child. This can occur at any stage of the growth
of the brain including after birth. This brain damage is in the white zone which affects
muscle tone, motor skills, reflexes, and posture. However, once the brain is fully
developed the brain damage does not increase.
“Another effect of cerebral palsy is that sometimes other sections of the brain are
also damaged, causing seizures, intellectual impairment, hearing impairment and
retardation. These are not caused by the same brain damage as cerebral palsy but are
often found in those with the condition [2].”
“Also, over the course of a person’s life, they might encounter secondary and
associative conditions that were not prevalent in the initial stages of cerebral palsy [1].”
For example, aspiration can be caused due to muscle tension around the lungs, which can
lead to pneumonia, many years after the brain damage stopped worsening. “Also, as the
person ages, they’re muscular-skeletal system may erode prematurely due to the
difficulty in maintaining proper posture and exercise in more extreme cases of cerebral
palsy [3].”

Examples of these secondary functions include speech and oral dysfunction and
weakness in controlling the facial muscles. This is true in 86% of those with cerebral
palsy. These can extend into causing difficulties breathing and swallowing in more
extreme cases.
“Cerebral palsy has many types, ranging in severity; spastic cerebral palsy is the most
common type, it causes muscle tightness, with difficulty and sometimes the inability to
relax muscles, as seen in FM (the client) [1].” Spastic cerebral palsy is also grouped into
4 subgroups:

- Hemiplegia or diplegia – where either one arm and one leg is affected, or both legs are
affected.
Most people diagnosed with cerebral palsy fall under this category.
- Monoplegia- one limb (either an arm or a leg) is affected
- Quadriplegia – all four limbs are affected. Oral muscles are also usually affected, and
they usually cannot walk
- Triplegia – both arms and a leg, or both legs and an arm are affected.
In our client’s case, she has spastic quadriplegia and as a result: her oral muscles are also
affected, giving her a slight speech impairment; and she cannot walk. [4]
Other effects of spastic quadriplegia include:
- Problems swallowing and sucking,
- About a quarter of patients with CP develop scoliosis (curvature of the syapine)
- difficulty swallowing can sometimes cause respiratory problems while eating, therefore
eating can be difficult and getting the patient their required nutrition is difficult. Also, this
can lead to bladder and bowel problems. [3]
Overall, I think that this research provides our group with enough information about the
background of Cerebral Palsy to stay relevant, and also any problems that we might have
to work around in order for FM to be comfortable with using our product safely.
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References

[1] CDC. (2015, July 13). Facts About Cerebral Palsy. [Online].
Available: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/facts.html. [Accessed: October 17,
2017].

[2] K.A. Stem. (2017). About Cerebral Palsy: Associative Conditions. [Online].
Available: http://www.cerebralpalsy.org/about-cerebral-palsy/associative-conditions.
[Accessed: October 17, 2017].

[3] Newsom Melton. (2017). Spastic Quadriplegia. [Online]. Available:


http://www.brainandspinalcord.org/spastic-quadriplegia/. [Accessed: October 17, 2017].

[4] WebMD. (2017). Types of Cerebral Palsy. [Online].


Available: https://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/types-of-cerebral-palsy-topic-
overview#1. [Accessed: October 17, 2017].

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