Cerebral palsy is a physical disability that is caused by an injury or damage to the brain before, during, or shortly after birth.
The injury to the brain affects physical movement and may cause involuntary muscle spasms. In some cases, the injury interferes with the way that brain signals are transmitted. This can result in seizures.
Half of children with CP suffer from seizures and about one-third develop an additional seizure disorder such as epilepsy, West syndrome, or Lennox Gastaut syndrome.
- Epilepsy: Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes repeated episodes of seizures. Seizures are episodes of uncontrolled brain activity that cause changes in movement, behavior, or awareness. There are many types of epilepsy. There is no cure, but symptoms may be controlled with medication. Some children outgrow their epileptic symptoms.
- West syndrome: West syndrome is a form of epilepsy characterized by a type of seizure known as an infantile spasm that causes a specific pattern of chaotic brain waves. These brain waves can be seen on an electroencephalogram (EEG). The seizures usually begin in infancy when the child is four to eight months old. The body will bend forward or arch back while the arms and legs stiffen. Up to 100 spasms can occur at a time. Children with West Syndrome experience severe developmental delays or mental retardation. Seizures may decline as the child grows or they may be replaced with other types of seizures.
- Lennox Gastaut syndrome: Lennox Gastaut syndrome (LGS) is a rare and severe form of progressive epileptic seizure disorder. LGS is characterized by frequent seizures of multiple seizure types. Seizures are resistant to medications and therapy. Children with LGS may appear normal at first, but rapidly lose both physical and mental skills. These children suffer from cognitive dysfunctions, including mental retardation, behavioral problems, personality disturbances, mood swings, and regression. As children with LGS grow, they may experience increasing intellectual impairment, psychotic episodes, aggressiveness, and irritability. There is no cure for LGS. Most children with LGS require special education and few are ever able to live independently.
As a parent, what can I do?
If your child has suffers from seizures, your doctor will prescribe an electroencephalogram (EEG) to check for seizure disorders. Because seizures occur randomly, testing may take time. Some children are allowed to go about their daily activities while a portable EEG recorder monitors their brainwaves. Others must be monitored in the hospital. The doctor may order other tests including blood tests, MRIs, and CT scans.
If your child is suffering from cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder caused by a birth injury, you have the right to seek compensation on behalf of your child. Learn more about Texas cerebral palsy lawsuits by requesting a free copy of attorney Jeff Rasansky’s book, Cerebral Palsy and Medical Negligence, or contact Rasansky Law Firm at 1-877-405-4313 and ask to speak to a Texas birth injury lawyer today.