Cerebral Palsy

Child Neurology practice in Pasadena, CA

Cerebral Palsy services offered in Pasadena, CA

Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects balance, movement, and motor skills. It’s the most common childhood motor disability, and about one of every 345 American children has it. As a leading child neurologist in Pasadena, California, Charles Niesen, MD, specializes in cerebral palsy treatment for children of all ages at AMS Neurology. Book a consultation with Dr. Niesen and the team online or call the office for more information.

Cerebral Palsy Q & A

What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a neurologic condition that affects movement and muscle control. Abnormal brain development or damage to the brain before birth can be the cause. The damage can take many forms, and cerebral palsy symptoms range from mild to severe.

Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common type, and stiff muscles and exaggerated reflexes characterize it. Ataxic cerebral palsy affects balance and coordination, and dyskinetic cerebral palsy makes it difficult to control voluntary muscles, like those used for swallowing.

There’s no cure for cerebral palsy, but treatment is essential. The specialists at AMS Neurology provide comprehensive care tailored to your child’s needs to improve motor function and quality of life.

How is cerebral palsy diagnosed?

The severity of cerebral palsy varies from person to person, and symptoms may not be noticeable in newborns. Symptoms become more apparent as your child ages, and most diagnoses occur between 18 and 24 months old.

If you or your child’s pediatrician suspect cerebral palsy, it’s important to see a pediatric neurologist for evaluation.

The AMS Neurology team reviews your child’s medical history and symptoms. They often diagnose cerebral palsy after a brain scan, such as an MRI, CT scan, or cranial ultrasound, to look for areas of abnormal development.

If your child has seizures, they may recommend in-office electroencephalogram (EEG) testing to diagnose or rule out epilepsy. Other recommended screenings for your child include vision, hearing, speech, intellect, behavior, and development.

How is cerebral palsy treated?

Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition, and treatment helps reduce your child’s symptoms, improve their abilities, and instill confidence in them. The exact treatment your child needs depends on the type and severity of their symptoms, and their treatment needs will change throughout their life.

Most people with cerebral palsy benefit from a combination of treatments and therapies, including:

  • Medication for pain and muscle tightness
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Recreational therapy
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Mental health care

The team believes that early intervention often results in better outcomes, and dedicates themselves to helping you manage your child’s treatment plan. Ongoing care allows your child to enjoy their best possible health going forward.

Contact the office online or call to schedule an appointment for your child today.