Facts About Athetoid Cerebral Palsy That You Need To Know
Athetoid cerebral palsy is accounted for about 10 to 20 percent of the entire cerebral palsy cases. It is commonly caused by the damage on the cerebellum or basal ganglia part of the brain. The basal ganglia are responsible for maintaining smooth and coordinated movements and whole body posture.
Individuals affected by athetoid cerebral palsy usually demonstrate the following signs:
• Unmanageable, slow, involuntary writhing movements of limbs;
• Involuntary movements of the tongue or face;
• Inability to walk or stand without any aid due to poor muscle tone;
• Difficulty in holding or grasping objects;
• Inability of feeding themselves and perform various activities in their everyday living due to uncoordinated movements;
• Demonstrates drooling, griming, and thrusting their tongues out; and
• Inability to swallow food or speak normally (dysatrhria condition);
The treatments for athetoid cerebral palsy-affected individuals involve a prescribed group of drugs known as anticholinergics that is used to decrease abnormal and unnecessary movements. It blocks the effects of acetylcholine which triggers muscle contraction when acted on nerve cells. Other prescribed drugs used in treating athetoid cerebral palsy are:
• Benztropine and
There are also physical therapies employed to help restore certain movements such as swallowing as well as to decrease slurred speech. The advancement of technology enables athetoid cerebral palsy patients to use voice synthesizers and other related technology to make their speech clearer.
Although such type of cerebral palsy does not worsen as the affected individual ages, it is really distressing on the part of the individuals with normal intelligence to live with this condition.
At this point, you care as their parent will help in motivating them to work harder and submit themselves to physical therapies in order for them to overcome speech and movement disabilities. Moral support will also count, giving them the encouragement to continue with their therapy sessions and make them feel there are still left hope for them to live life normally later on.
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