- General Health
CBD Oil for Cerebral Palsy
CBD is growing in popularity, and for an excellent reason. Because of this many studies have been conducted on the effects of cannabidiol. And so, in the last decade or so studies have shown that CBD can have a wide range of medical benefits, from acting as an excellent natural supplement to being a valid form of treatment for many chronic conditions.
In fact, cerebral palsy is one of the many conditions that is thought to have the potential to be treated through the use of CBD oil. There has been a great quantity of research recently into CBD and cerebral palsy, which, while still ongoing, seems to show hope for those who suffer from cerebral palsy.
Using CBD oil for cerebral palsy could prove to be an effective form of treatment for the many people who struggle with the condition on a daily basis. Additionally, new remedies for cerebral palsy could play a vital role in the way the symptoms are treated in the future.
Let’s take a look at precisely what cerebral palsy is, some of the CBD oil cerebral palsy myths, and whether they are true.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy refers to a group of diseases that affect movement, motor skills, and coordination. Cerebral palsy occurs before, during, or shortly after birth and continues throughout life.
Most cases are caused by brain damage that occurs either before or during birth. But it is also possible to develop the condition during the first five years of a child’s life as a result of an illness that affects the brain’s development.
Cerebral palsy causes coordination and purposeful movement to become challenging and sometimes even impossible. For those with cerebral palsy, muscles quickly become stiff, making movement much harder and, in the most serious of cases, causing tremors.
Some people who have cerebral palsy also find that their senses – including vision, hearing, and speaking – can be affected. In the most extreme cases, the ability to swallow is also affected, making eating a challenging task.
Cerebral Palsy Types
Cerebral palsy is a broad, umbrella term used to describe four different conditions that share similar characteristics. And so, anyone diagnosed with cerebral palsy will be told that they have one of the following types of cerebral palsy: Spastic, athetoid, ataxic, and mixed.
While all four types of cerebral palsy share many of the same symptoms, each one is slightly different and requires different treatment as a result.
So, what are the four different types of cerebral palsy?
Spastic Cerebral Palsy
Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common of all the four types of cerebral palsy and is a form of hypertonia. People with spastic cerebral palsy have increased muscle tone, which results in muscles becoming stiff, making movement painful.
The main signs of spastic cerebral palsy are joint stiffness, jerky movements, and muscle tightness. The effects of spastic cerebral palsy make performing particular tasks and carrying out precise movements challenging, if not impossible.
Spastic cerebral palsy is caused by bundles of neurons in the brain and spinal cord, known as the corticospinal tract and corticobulbar tract, becoming damaged. But the damage can occur both before and during birth. As spastic cerebral palsy develops during the very early stages of life, it prevents the healthy development of muscles and motor functions.
It is possible for spasticity to be caused by other conditions and accidents which happen later in life. And a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, or a stroke can all result in spasticity and similar symptoms to spastic cerebral palsy.
Spastic cerebral palsy is caused by onetime damage and does not change over time. What can change, however, are the effects that this damage has on the body.
Soft tissue and muscles can become increasingly damaged over time, resulting in increased muscle stiffness and atrophy. Affected muscle also has trouble stretching, causing growth to become stunted and preventing muscle joints from achieving full movement.
Athetoid Cerebral Palsy
Athetoid cerebral palsy, or dyskinetic cerebral palsy as it is sometimes called, is the result of brain damage. And it can cause involuntary movements. This type is the second most common form of cerebral palsy behind spastic cerebral palsy.
Athetoid cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the brain’s basal ganglia. The basal ganglia are part of the brain responsible for sending messages to the body in order to coordinate movement throughout the body.
When the basal ganglia become damaged, the body struggles to send messages between the brain and the rest of the body. Messages between the brain and muscles in the body can sometimes become lost for voluntary movements and, therefore, not occur. Equally, messages can become confused, causing involuntary and abnormal movements.
When diagnosing athetoid cerebral palsy, doctors will look for three main characteristics. The first is referred to as dystonia and is caused by involuntary muscle contractions. Signs of dystonia become worse over time as children learn new movements and become more active.
The second element of athetoid cerebral palsy is athetosis and is noticeable in the form of slow twitching movements. These movements can occur both when a child is moving, but also while they are resting.
Lastly, athetoid cerebral palsy is characterized by chorea, brief, irregular involuntary movements. These movements are generally repetitive and can cause difficulty when carrying out routine tasks such as eating, talking, and drinking.
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
Ataxic cerebral palsy is slightly different from other types of cerebral palsy because it primarily affects coordination as well as muscle movements.
This type is a developmental disorder caused by damage to the brain during the development of its motor control centers. The result of this damage means that both motor functions and coordination are permanently affected.
The cerebellum, a part of the brain, can become damaged before, during, or shortly after birth. The cerebellum regulates balance, coordination, posture, and communication. Unofrtunatleu, when the cerebellum becomes damaged so early in life, all of these functions become irreversibly damaged.
The most common signs of ataxic cerebral palsy include imprecise and jerky movements, walking and balance difficulties, tremors, and a lack of depth perception. Children with ataxic cerebral palsy are not able to be diagnosed until at least the age of 18 months in order to rule out other conditions and developmental problems.
Mixed Cerebral Palsy
Mixed cerebral palsy refers to those who show signs of multiple different types of cerebral palsy. If a child has symptoms of at least two types of cerebral palsy, they will be diagnosed with mixed cerebral palsy.
Unsurprisingly, around 10% of those who have cerebral palsy are diagnosed with mixed cerebral palsy. Each patient with mixed cerebral palsy has different symptoms relating to either two or all three types of cerebral palsy. And the most common combination is spastic and athetoid.
Treatment for those who are diagnosed with mixed cerebral palsy can be tricky, with doctors having to create a care plan that treats both or all three forms of the condition. However, children with mixed cerebral palsy are also thought to have an increased risk of developing seizures, adding to the complexity of their treatment.
As with all other types of cerebral palsy, mixed cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage either before or during birth. Fetal infections are thought to be one of the most significant causes of mixed cerebral palsy resulting in multiple parts of the brain becoming damaged.
Cerebral Palsy Symptoms
Cerebral palsy is most noticeable in the form of shaky and jerky movements. But the precise symptoms that a person with cerebral palsy displays will depend on both the type of cerebral palsy that they have and the severity of their condition.
The symptoms of cerebral palsy are normally noticeable shortly after birth and become increasingly obvious during the first few years of life.
As cerebral palsy mainly affects movement and coordination, most of the symptoms linked to the condition affect voluntary movements and can cause involuntary movements.
The main symptom to look out for during the early stages of diagnosis is that the child in question is not meeting early development milestones. For instance, a young child with cerebral palsy will most likely struggle with things such as sitting, walking, and eating.
As children with cerebral palsy develop, so do the symptoms. For example, arms and legs appear weak and stiff. In cases of hypotonia, however, limbs instead appear floppy. And movements are carried out in a jerky and clumsy manner.
Some types of cerebral palsy can cause involuntary movements, which can appear as though they are random and out of character for the person. In a large number of cases, cerebral palsy can cause muscle spasms and shake.
In the most severe cases, a person’s ability to eat and swallow can be affected. A lack of control of facial muscle can result in involuntary drooling and trouble speaking. Unfortunatley, Cerebral palsy can also cause reduced vision and uncontrollable eye movements, making social interaction difficult.
Symptoms can change as a person with cerebral palsy develops into adulthood as a result of muscle becoming underdeveloped. As such, the symptoms of cerebral palsy can vary drastically between adults and young children.
Cerebral Palsy Symptoms in Adults
As a child matures into adulthood, developmental delays, become much more noticeable and symptoms more pronounced. For many who suffer from severe cerebral palsy, it is not until they reach adulthood that many basic functions such as walking can be achieved.
Cerebral palsy is not a condition that worsens with age. However, as children fall further and further behind in some regions of development, the symptoms become more noticeable. By adulthood, these symptoms can be disabling and appear to have worsened from an outside perspective.
A common symptom for adults is difficulty swallowing as muscle tone is lost, and voluntary movements become harder. Eating and speech problems are much more likely to occur in children with cerebral palsy who struggle with involuntary movements.
Many adults with cerebral palsy will experience premature aging, which in turn makes movements more challenging. Cerebral palsy also increases a person’s chances of developing mental health conditions in adulthood as the effects of the condition become increasingly limiting.
The lack of muscle development during childhood causes weakened muscle during later life, which can make movements appear stiff and uncoordinated. The movement of the limbs is often described as scissor-like and results in difficulty walking.
As is the case with all conditions, the extent of symptoms depends on the severity of the illness. Some people with cerebral palsy are able to lead a relatively normal adult life, while others require lifelong care and support.
Cerebral Palsy Symptoms in Babies
Cerebral palsy develops before, during, and shortly after birth, and as such, signs can be detected very early in life. Babies who are suspected of having cerebral palsy will be closely monitored. However, a diagnosis will not be made until a few years later to ensure that a correct diagnosis is able to be given.
The most noticeable and one of the first signs that a baby has cerebral palsy is floppy limbs caused by low muscle tone. Muscle spasms can also occur in babies giving a clue that something is not quite right.
Other early signs of cerebral palsy include difficulty eating and swallowing, as well as favoring the use of one side of their body. Over time, a baby’s poor muscle control becomes more obvious.
Delays in development will normally be very clearly noticeable by six months. An inability to hold one’s head up as well as not being able to independently sit up or roll over are some of the main signs that a doctor will look out for.
Over the next year or two, before a full diagnosis can be carried out, a baby with cerebral palsy will fall further behind in their physical development. By this point, symptoms will normally clearly point towards cerebral palsy.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is caused by a traumatic injury to the brain during the very early stages of development. This injury normally occurs either before or during birth; in a small number of cases, the damage can happen shortly after birth. 70% of cerebral palsy cases are caused by prenatal injuries, while 20% are caused by injuries during birth, and only 10% are the result of an injury after birth.
Cerebral palsy is the result of the parts of the brain that control coordination and movement becoming damaged. The area of the brain that is damaged will determine the type of cerebral palsy that a person has.
Cerebral palsy causes include infection during pregnancy, severe untreated jaundice, and brain damage shortly after birth. Other causes such as an infection after birth, a brain hemorrhage before birth, and asphyxiation during birth can all also cause cerebral palsy.
The leading cause of cerebral palsy after birth is meningitis, which can cause brain damage in newborn babies. Inflammation in the brain can result in the areas of the brain responsible for motor control becoming damaged, leading to cerebral palsy.
Jaundice is another common cause of cerebral palsy developing after birth. When left untreated jaundice causes a buildup of bilirubin, which is toxic to the brain, and results in permanent damage. When the affected areas of the brain are linked to coordination and movement, cerebral palsy can develop.
Cerebral Palsy Treatment
Medication is often used to help control and manage the symptoms of cerebral palsy in both young children and adults. Unfortunately, there is no medical cure for cerebral palsy with treatment instead of focusing on improving the quality of life. Medication can also be used to treat specific movement issues, such as incontinence, as a result of poor control of bladder muscles.
There are many different treatment options available, all entirely depending on the type of cerebral palsy and the severity of symptoms.
Muscle or Nerve Injections
Dysport and botox injections are often used to help tighten the specific muscle in those who suffer from spastic cerebral palsy. Injections can help to reduce muscle stiffness and spasms, giving more control over the affected muscles.
Botox injections can be a good option but they only last for up to 3 months at a time.
Unfortunately, Dysport and botox injections are not a quick fix and can cause a number of side effects. Fatigue and drowsiness are common after receiving a botox or Dysport injection. Injections can also cause nausea, headaches, and dizziness.
Oral Muscle Relaxants
For those who struggle with involuntary muscle spasms and movements, oral muscle relaxants can often be useful. The most common medications given are diazepam, dantrolene, baclofen, and tizanidine.
Oral muscle relaxants can also help to prevent pain caused by repetitive muscle movements. By relaxing the muscles, stiffness is also reduced, making movement much easier.
The use of oral muscle relaxants usually is only a temporary measure as they can become addictive. Most muscle relaxants cause effects such as drowsiness, liver damage, and increased blood pressure and are another reason why they are not used as a long term treatment.
As cerebral palsy is not a condition that can be cured, treatment is very much focused on improving the quality of life and controlling symptoms. One of the most effective ways that this can be achieved is through therapy.
Therapy options include physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and alternative therapies. Some people may only receive one form of treatment, while others might undergo many different types of therapy throughout their life.
Physical therapy can be particularly helpful during childhood and while physical development is still going on. During the very early stages, physical therapy will be used to develop basic motor skills that other children develop naturally. Learning to hold one’s head up, to stand using both legs, and to grip small items can be improved through physical therapy.
As a child develops physical therapy can help to build strength, flexibility, and improve balance. Braces and splints are often used as part of therapy to improve things such as walking and balance.
Physical therapy can be continued into adulthood when it is proving to be effective. In later years, physical therapy can be used to further strengthen muscles and to work on improving the ability to carry out simple tasks.
Occupational therapy becomes a useful tool as children develop into adolescence and adulthood, helping to improve their ability to complete tasks independently. An occupational therapist will work closely with a cerebral palsy patient tailoring their care plan to suit their needs and areas of difficulty.
Some occupational therapists will recommend specialist equipment that makes daily tasks easier for someone with cerebral palsy. Walkers, adjusted seating, and adapted bathrooms are just a few of the tools that can help someone with cerebral palsy become independent.
For some people with cerebral palsy speech can be challenging due to a lack of control of facial muscles. A speech therapist will be able to teach children tools that they can use to strengthen facial muscles giving them increased control of speech.
Other communication devices are also sometimes taught. Sign language might be introduced equipping a child with the tools needed to communicate with others. Voice synthesizers can also be used in the most severe cases involving speech.
A speech therapist might also be able to help with swallowing and eating difficulties, developing muscles within that area of the body.
In very serious cases of cerebral palsy, surgery may be required to correct deformities that have been caused by a lack of bone and muscle growth.
Cerebral palsy can cause joints to grow in a misaligned way and is often corrected through surgery. Most children who require surgery will receive it at a young age allowing limbs to grow and develop in the correct way and preventing further damage.
Surgery can also be used to lengthen muscles and tendons, reduce pain, and improve mobility. Successful surgery can improve a person’s ability to walk and carry out normal daily tasks.
While the main aim of surgery is to improve independent movement and flexibility, there are some cases where surgery is used solely as a way of minimizing pain.
CBD Oil for Cerebral Palsy
CBD treatments are becoming the norm for many different conditions, with people looking for natural ways to look after their health. Cerebral palsy is just one of the many conditions that are thought to be treatable with the use of CBD.
As CBD becomes increasingly popular, brands are starting to market CBD oil products for children with cerebral palsy. CBD can be used to treat many of the symptoms that occur with cerebral palsy, including seizures, muscle spasms, and chronic pain.
In many states across the US, medical marijuana is now legal and can be given to children who hold a medical marijuana license. CBD can be used in conjunction with other treatments when discussed and approved by your doctor.
CBD Oil for Cerebral Palsy
Research into CBD oil and cerebral palsy, as well as cerebral palsy marijuana, are still somewhat limited. However, CBD is thought to be able to improve many of the symptoms that are caused by cerebral palsy. Just like medications, CBD is used as a way of controlling and managing symptoms rather than as a cure.
Studies in recent years, such as this crucial study by Emilio Perucca for the Journal of Epilepsy Research, have shown that CBD can be used to manage seizures. Some people with cerebral palsy have to deal with regular seizures as a result of their condition, and CBD could allow them to essential manage and reduce the frequency of seizures.
Taking CBD on a regular basis can help to relax muscles and be used as a natural alternative to muscle relaxants. A regular dose of CBD can reduce muscle stiffness, making movements feel much more comfortable and controllable.
There are many benefits of CBD, including its ability to act as a natural anti-inflammatory. Some people who suffer from cerebral palsy find that their muscles and joints can become stiff and inflamed, causing pain. Using CBD on a regular basis can help to reduce such inflammation and, as a result, the pain that it causes.
How to Take CBD for Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition with symptoms that tend to be very stable and predictable. Due to the nature of cerebral palsy successful treatments are those that can be administered regularly, allowing them to have a continuous effect on the body.
The exact CBD oil dosage that a person needs in order to manage their condition will depend on a number of factors, including their symptoms and weight.
CBD oil is most effective in treating cerebral palsy when taken orally. There are many different CBD options available, including regular CBD oils, CBD oil capsules, and CBD edibles. The most important thing is to ensure that you find a CBD solution that works for you and that you are able to take regularly.
CBD oils and capsules are available in many different strength options and provide the most amount of control over your daily dose. CBD capsules, in particular, are manufactured using advanced methods to ensure that every capsule contains a precise amount of CBD oil.
Topical CBD products allow you to really easily target specific areas, providing them with an extra dose. Because of this, when treating muscle stiffness and pain, topical forms of CBD can be useful.
Final Thoughts on CBD & CP
Using CBD oil for cerebral palsy is still a relatively new idea and one that definitely still requires a great deal of research. There have been cases and stories of people successfully treating the symptoms of cerebral palsy using CBD. However, there is still a lot to learn about why this is and the long-term effects of using CBD in this way.
There are many benefits to taking a regular dose of CBD that go beyond just treating cerebral palsy. For instance, CBD is thought to boost your immune system while also helping to treat conditions such as anxiety and insomnia.
For those suffering from cerebral palsy, a regular dose of CBD could have a positive impact on many different areas of life. It is important, however, to discuss changes to medication and the use of CBD with your doctors. While CBD might work for some people, it might not be quite as useful for others and is best discussed with your doctor.