Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability diagnosed in children. As these children enter adulthood, they continue to face their ongoing challenges, as well as new problems that arise as they get older, such as premature aging and difficulty swallowing. Adults with cerebral palsy receive specialized treatment at Brain and Stroke Care: Sravani Mehta, MD, in Nashville, Tennessee. Dr. Mehta has years of experience helping adults achieve optimal functioning and relief from their symptoms. To schedule an appointment, call the office or use the online booking feature.
Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects muscle tone, posture, and movement. The condition is caused by abnormal brain development or brain damage that usually occurs before birth. The damaged area affects communication between the brain and muscles.
There are several types of cerebral palsy:
About 80% of children with cerebral palsy have this type, which causes tight, stiff muscles. Spasticity may be limited to a specific muscle group, often in the arms and legs, or it can affect the entire body.
Patients with this type of cerebral palsy have difficulty controlling the movement of their hands, arms, legs, and feet. In severe cases, the face and tongue are affected.
Ataxic cerebral palsy causes problems with coordination and balance. Patients may be unsteady while walking or find it hard to control their arms and hands when reaching for an object.
As children grow into adulthood, their cerebral palsy remains the same as it was in childhood. Though their cerebral palsy doesn’t worsen, adults with cerebral palsy are likely to face additional health problems, including:
Cerebral palsy uses up to five times more energy when you walk or move around compared to adults who don’t have cerebral palsy. As a result, signs of aging develop between the ages of 20-40 years.
Some adults lose their ability to walk. About 25% of patients who were able to walk as children develop musculoskeletal problems, such as osteoarthritis, that limit their ability to walk as adults.
Dr. Mehta takes a whole-person approach to treatment for cerebral palsy, creating a treatment plan to improve your symptoms and all aspects of your well-being. She may prescribe medications to control seizures, relax muscle spasms, and relieve pain. She frequently includes physical therapy and speech therapy in a comprehensive treatment plan.
Dr. Mehta also uses Botox® to relieve spasticity caused by cerebral palsy, injected into targeted muscles Botox blocks nerve signals that make muscles contract. As a result, the muscles relax.
To get support and treatment for adult cerebral palsy, schedule an appointment online or call Brain and Stroke Care: Sravani Mehta, MD.