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									                                                         Cerebral Palsy Health
                                                          Management Sheet
                                     Cerebral Palsy
          Key Points                 The impact of cerebral palsy will vary between individuals and the
   Cerebral Palsy is a group of     type of cerebral palsy they have. Some people will experience a mild
  conditions caused by               impact and others a profound impact. The main types of cerebral
  damage to, or lack of              palsy are:
  development in the motor            Spastic Cerebral Palsy – occurs in approximately 75 per cent of
  area of the brain.                   cases. It is characterised by stiff or tight muscles.
   More than one factor often
  contributes to the cause.           Athetoid Cerebral Palsy – occurs in approximately 10-20 per
   Affects one in 400 births.         cent of cases. It is characterised by fluctuations of muscle tone
   Not a progressive condition.       and uncontrolled movements.
   Communication difficulties
  may lead to misperception of        Ataxic Cerebral Palsy – occurs in 5-10 per cent of cases. It is
  intellectual disability.             characterised by an unsteady gait, balance difficulties and shaky
   Poor muscle control                movements.
  impacting upon daily living            Mixed Cerebral Palsy – some individuals also have a mixture
  tasks..                                 of these conditions.
The predispositions listed below     Early intervention.
are more common for people           Therapy programs are available through the Commission, private
with moderate to profound            therapists or via Therapy Focus (school age). Contact your Local
forms of cerebral palsy:             Area Coordinator for information and support.
 poor muscle control and            Health Management to discuss with GP.
posture;                                 Physical Examination – at least annually.
 increased risk of epilepsy;             Epilepsy – discuss anticonvulsant medication. Request a
 mild feeding difficulties               referral to a neurologist at appropriate intervals.
impacting on nutrition and diet;          Hearing – test regularly until glue ear is not a concern.
 curvature of the spine;                 (majority will require a specialist referral) After age 40 test
 poor mouth, tongue and saliva           every two years, if possible, by an audiologist.
control (poor oral health);               Vision – test and ask regarding strabismus (squint).
 poor musculoskeletal                    Ophthalmology assessment recommended during early years.
development and high risk of             Nutrition – discuss with individual or carer.
deterioration and some                    Dental – annual reviews are encouraged.
dislocations;                             Genetic Counselling – should be offered to all families.
 possible intellectual disability       Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease – ask for information.
(but not in all cases);                  Ageing – monitor changes in individuals needs in conjunction with
 muscular stiffness;                     carers, health professionals and individual.
 genitourinary problems;
 gastroesophageal reflux            Useful resources
disease;                             Cerebral Palsy Association of Western Australia
 increased risk of chronic lung     1800 198 263
disease;                             http://www.cpawa.com.au/
 hearing and visual difficulties;
                                     The Health Resource and Consultancy Team
 irregular muscle tone; and
                                     Disability Services Commission
 some early ageing issues such
                                     Free ph: 1800 004 544
as increased fatigue, and
deterioration of function and a
reduced life expectancy.

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