During the initial stages of my child's growth, I found some abnormality in his way of walking. However, I did not know why this was happening. We went to many doctors and specialists, but every time we get to know something new about our child's problem. However, many also confused my child's problem with polio and started treatment accordingly. Little did we realise that our child was suffering with Cerebral Palsy," says Shikha, mother of a Cerebral Palsy-affected child.
Like Shikha many in India confuse Cerebral Palsy with polio or other diseases and this is the prime reason that this disease is common in among 30-40 lakh children in the country. "Cerebral palsy is caused by abnormal development or damage in one or more parts of the brain that control muscle tone and motor activity. The resulting impairments first appear early in life, usually in infancy or early childhood. Infants with cerebral palsy are usually slow to reach developmental milestones such as rolling over, sitting, crawling and walking. One of the causes of Cerebral palsy is consanguineous marriages," explains Dr. Deepak Sharan, an internationally renowned expert in RSI, Ergonomics and Cerebral Palsy.
"Ten years old Hariyank was growing with physical abnormality and being a father I was really worried. However, doctors were not able to identify the correct problem and they were giving Botox to my son, a drug that is extremely painful, but nothing worked out. We met Dr Deepak Sharan and through his treatment my child can not only walk properly, but has turned out to be a good footballer," chuckled Nalin Thakur.
"There is surely a treatment of this abnormality. First being the motivation and encouragement to the kid to adapt the therapies and for this I always give successful examples to the people. I give virtual reality therapy, Hippo therapy and Hydro therapy to treat the patient of cerebral palsy. In some cases, surgeries are also helpful, but that can be successful between four and six years of the birth. Early awareness of CP is another treatment," said Sharan, who was also awarded 'National Award' for designing the surgery in 2008.
Dr Sharan keeps organising camps for cerebral palsy patients. This includes camps in Kerala, Karnataka, Hyderabad and Delhi. In many cases wherein the people are genuinely not able to afford the treatment, Dr Sharan provides them free of cost. In a package of Rs 35,000, he provides surgery of three hours, Physiotherapy for three months and three sessions in a day, which makes CP not so difficult disease to be cured.
Types of Cerebral Palsy
Hemiplegia: (one side of the body): For most children with hemiplegia the arm is more prone than the leg and the end of the limbs have more problems.
Diplegra: (both legs): Diplegia is a form of CP primarily affecting the legs. Most children with Diplegia have difficulty with balance and coordination.
Quadriplegia: (the whole body): Quadriplegia is a form of Cerebral palsy in which all four limbs are affected. With Full Body Involvement, there are often additional complications having to do with eating and breathing due to the lack of muscle control.