Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hemiplegia according to the Encyclopedia


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The exact cause of hemiplegia is not known in all cases, but it appears that the brain is deprived of oxygen and this results in the death of neurons. When the corticospinal tract is damaged, the injury is usually manifested on the opposite side of the body. For example if one has an injury to the right side of the brain, the hemiplegia will be on the left side of the body.

Hemiplegia means severe weakness of the limbs on one side of the body but the specific features can vary tremendously from person to person. Problems may include:
  • Difficulty with gait
  • Difficulty with balance while standing or walking
  • Having difficulty with motor activities like holding, grasping or pinching
  • Increasing stiffness of muscles
  • Muscle spasms
  • Difficulty with speech
  • Difficulty swallowing food
  • Significant delay in achieving developmental milestones like standing, smiling, crawling or speaking
  • The majority of children who develop hemiplegia also have abnormal mental development
  • Behavior problems like anxiety, anger, irritability, lack of concentration or comprehension
  • Emotions- depression
Rehabilitation is the main treatment of individuals with hemiplegia. In all cases, the major aim of rehabilitation is to regain maximum function and quality of life. Both physical and occupational therapy can significantly improve the quality of life. Physical therapy can help improve muscle strength, mobility such as standing and walking, and other physical function. Occupational therapy may help the individual train daily living activities like brushing teeth, combing hair or dressing. Initially, one may undergo physical therapy at a center but many of these exercises can also be done at home and become part of daily life routine.

Hemiplegia is not a progressive disorder, except in progressive conditions like a growing brain tumour. Once the injury has occurred, the symptoms should not worsen.

Sudden recovery from hemiplegia is very rare. Many of the individuals will have limited recovery, but the majority will improve from intensive, specialised rehabilitation. Potential to progress may differ in cerebral palsy, compared to adult acquired brain injury. It is vital to integrate the hemiplegic child into society and encourage them in their daily living activities. With time, some individuals may make remarkable progress.

*** Which is why supporting Kearstyn in her effort to bring awareness to the community is a great society encouraging activity, which can benefit many with positive outcomes;  community involvement, education awareness, research and prevention.  AND FUN!!!

External links

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post and those useful links. I was doing a research about Hemiplegia Cerebral Palsy when I stumbled across your blog, and it has been very helpful