Hemiplegia is a type of cerebral palsy that can result from damage to different parts of the brain that control muscle movements.
The term Hemiplegia means that the paralysis is on one side of the body. A similar medical term, hemipairisis, means a weakness is on one side of a body. In children with Hemiplegia, the paralysis in the body occurs on the side opposite of the portion that was affected by the brain.
The symptoms of spastic hemiplegic cerebral palsy may differ from child to child over time. Some of the symptoms include:
• Difficulty with common motor skills such as writing or using scissors
• Difficulty with walking or keeping one's balance
• Stiffness and weakness in muscles on one particular side of one's body
• Delay in reaching expected developmental milestones such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling, or smiling
While many people think that Hemiplegia is a progressive condition, it is not - nor is it a disease. As children grow and experience growth spurts they may have more problems with muscle spasticity. However, this does not mean that the initial injury has gotten any worse.
Children with Hemiplegia cannot be cured in the common sense of the word, but therapies can go do wonders to help some of the symptoms. Medication can also be prescribed for seizures and orthotics, braces and splints can be used to help with spasticity problems and walking.
Causes of Hemiplegia in children:
• Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA) or stroke thrombosis: embolism or hemorrhage
• Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
• Migraine syndrome
• Head Trauma: brain contusion, subdural hematoma or epidural hematoma
• Sturge-Weber Syndrome
• Todd's Paralysis
• Brain tumor (Primary or metastatic disease)
• Infection: brain abscess, encephalitis, subdural empyema or meningitis
• Nonketotic hyperosmolar coma
• Demyelinating disease: multiple sclerosis, acute necrotizing myelitis
• Hereditary disease: leukodystrophies
• Congenital or perinatal injury
• Arterovenous malformations