Causes of Cerebral Palsy

The actual cause of cerebral palsy can be identified in 50% of the cases only. Different factors in the history of the child increase the risk of cerebral palsy. Children who have one or more of these risk factors is higher than among the normal population. There is a vast list of etiology is available but the following are the general causes of cerebral palsy

  • Birth Asphyxia / Hypoxia (Oxygen Shortage)
  • Bleeding in the brain
  • Rh incompatibility
  • Preterm and low birth weight
  • Infection
  • Abnormal development of the brain
  • Thyroid problem of the mother
  • Maternal nutrition
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Genetic
  • Alcohol and smoking

Unclassified causes

  • Hypocalcaemia (low calcium concentration),
  • Infant hypoglycemia (lower than normal level of glucose in the blood),
  • Mother being exposed to radiation or methyl mercury,
  • Infant thyroid hormone levels,
  • Polycythemia (increase in hemoglobin content),
  • Clotting defects in the mother or infant,
  • Depression in mother inside the delivery room
  • Three consecutive abortions before the birth of the child
  • To manage the child with cerebral palsy, it is always not necessary to know the etiology of the condition. But if the parents are going for second child, they should consult a Genetic Specialist to rule out the possibility in the consecutive pregnancy. Most of the time, it is very difficult to ascertain the actual cause of the condition.

Risk Factors for Cerebral palsy

If the mother or the baby has any of these risk factors, it doesn’t always mean that the child will have cerebral palsy, but it does increase the chance the occurrence of cerebral palsy.

  • Low birth weight and premature birth 
  • Multiple births
  • Infections during pregnancy  
  • Blood type incompatibility   
  • Exposure to toxic substances 
  • Mothers with thyroid abnormalities, mental retardation, or seizures 
  • Breech presentation
  • Complicated labor and delivery
  • Small for gestational age 
  • Low APGAR score 
  • Jaundice 
  • Seizures