Cerebral Palsy, Autism, and Epilepsy Resource Page by Vitalitymedical.com
Neurological disorders remain some of the most perplexing disorders that the medical community faces. Because we are only in the beginning stages of understanding the brain and nervous system, medical science has not yet made as many strides in treating these diseases as it has with other disorders. However, our understanding of the most common neurological disorders increases almost every day, and treatment options that can improve the medical vitality of patients who suffer from these disorders continue to advance. Three neurological disorders are worthy of particular focus because they afflict a large number of people. These disorders are cerebral palsy, autism, and epilepsy.
Cerebral palsy is a diagnosis that identifies neurological disorders wherein the communication between the body's muscles and the brain is impaired. It is a lifelong disease that may be caused by brain damage early in infancy, loss of oxygen to the brain while in utero or shortly after birth, or other factors such as advanced jaundice. Thus, getting excellent pre- and post-natal care for both mother and baby are vital to preventing and mitigating the effects of cerebral palsy.
The characteristics of cerebral palsy include uncontrollable muscle movements. Often, certain muscles in the bodies of those who suffer from this disorder are stiff and contracted, and they cannot relax and release on their own. This hampers the sufferer's locomotion and may affect the medical vitality of the entire person. Muscle spasms are also a part of this disorder. As of yet, there is no cure for cerebral palsy, but the disorder can be treated with physical therapy, muscle relaxants, and other physical and drug treatments. Many people who have cerebral palsy go on to lead independent and productive lives because their treatment teaches them how to manage their condition. This is particularly true of the least severe forms of cerebral palsy.
- Cerebral Palsy and Children
- Cerebral Palsy and Children with Vision and Hearing Loss
- Cerebral Palsy and the Deaf
- The Cerebral Palsy Outreach Network
- Columbia Neurosurgeons: Cerebral Palsy
- Job Accomodation Ideas for Workers with Cerebral Palsy
- University of Maryland Guide to Cerebral Palsy
- Working with Youth Who Suffer from Cerebral Palsy
Autism is a disorder related to growth and development that makes those who suffer from it communicate, learn, and act differently than most other people. Autism is best understood as existing on a spectrum that includes conditions ranging from mild cases of autism to severe ones. In the mildest cases, autism does not really interfere with normal life, although those who suffer from it will experience the world and those around them differently than others. Individuals with severest forms of autism need around-the-clock care in order to preserve their medical vitality.
Signs of autism may include avoiding eye contact and impaired social skills, symptoms showing that the autistic person does not really know how to interact with other people. Others who suffer from autism may engage in repetitive behavior or not respond when people talk to them even though they show response to other noises. Diagnosis of this disorder is notoriously difficult because there is no one test that can determine the presence of autism. Rather, diagnosis requires extended observation and recording of whether or not certain developmental milestones are met. Catching the disorder early gives the person suffering from autism the greatest chance of learning to live a normal life.
Of particular note is Asperger's Syndrome, which is one of the disorders on the autism spectrum. While others who suffer from autism may also suffer from a lower intelligence level than other people, individuals who have Asperger's Syndrome are typically highly intelligent, exhibit normal cognitive development, and may have excellent grammar skills. However, those who have Asperger's Syndrome suffer from severely impaired social skills, and they may show an intense focus on certain objects. It is suspected that many of history's greatest and most eccentric thinkers suffered from Asperger's Syndrome.
- Asperger's Syndrome
- Autism, Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD), and Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD)
- Autism Fact Sheet
- Autism Spectrum Disorders: Resources for Educators
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Autism Information
- Organization for Autism Research
- What Is Autism?
- Autism Overview
People who suffer from epilepsy endure severe and rapid changes in the brain's electrical activity that result in seizures. Having one seizure is not enough to be diagnosed as epileptic, for there are any number of conditions and illnesses that might produce seizures. Instead, those who have epilepsy suffer from repeated seizures and seizure activity.
The typical seizure involves spasmodic muscle movements, but some people who have seizures experience them as staring at a person or object without responding for several minutes. Epilepsy is normally treated with anti-seizure medications that help restore medical vitality, but in severe cases, brain surgery can help to alleviate symptoms. When an epileptic person has a seizure, onlookers should allow the seizure to end naturally and not move the person unless doing so would be necessary to save the individual's life. With the right anti-seizure medicines and treatment, most people who suffer from epilepsy will mitigate its effects on everyday life, and they will be able to live, work, and play like anyone else.
- About Epilepsy
- Epilepsy Fact Sheet
- Epilepsy Foundation
- An Overview of Epilepsy
- Epilepsy in the Workplace
- Stanford Epilepsy Center Video Library
- What Is Epilepsy?
Burt Cancaster, Author