Cerebral Palsy

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Cerebral palsy (CP) is a disorder that affects muscle tone, movement, and motor skills (the ability to move in a coordinated and purposeful way). Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the motor control centers of the developing brain and can occur during pregnancy, during childbirth, or after birth up to about age three. About 2% of all cerebral palsy cases are believed to be due to a genetic cause. Cerebral palsy is not an infectious disease and is not contagious. Most cases are diagnosed at a young age rather than during adolescence or adulthood.

Management of cerebral palsy always remained a quest for the physicians all over the world. Even with introduction of newer and better possible ways to improve the functions of the child so that the quality of life is improved but still is a challenge for them.

Cerebral palsy cannot be correlated with any single disease or condition mentioned in Ayurveda, as it is a multi-factorial disease. Classical signs and symptoms of CP will fit into criteria of Vata vyadhi (Vata predominant disease). Hence Vata vyadhi chikitsa will prove beneficial.

Overall goal of treatment is to help the individual with cerebral palsy reach his or her greatest potential physically, mentally, and socially. It is to improve the quality of life by establishing optimal independence.

Treatment for CP involves intensive Panchakarma therapy program along with researched oral medicines. Therapies like Abhyanga swedam, Nasyam, Pichu, Shirodhara, Pizhichil, Navara or mamsakizhi, Vasti are done based on the presentation. Duration of therapy could range from 3 weeks to 5 weeks.

Repetition of therapies in small courses either individual or in combination intermittently will yield great benefit and stands as long term support for CP child.