Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella‘s son Zain Nadella died on Monday, the tech giant confirmed in a statement. Zain, 26, was born with cerebral palsy. 

What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral Palsy is a neural condition that impacts brain development. It is one of the most common neural disorders in children across the world, causing hearing loss, vision disturbances, and mobility difficulties, among other issues.

Cerebral refers to the brain, whereas palsy refers to muscular weakness or difficulty with movement. The disorder impairs a person’s capacity to regulate his or her muscles.

Cerebral Palsy has several of symptoms and indications that have no evident known cause.

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“Cerebral palsy, as the name implies, is characterised by limb weakness (palsy) caused by brain injury (cerebral). It is caused by aberrant brain development or brain injury before birth, but it can also occur at birth or early infancy,” Dr Prashant Makhija, Consultant Neurologist at Wockhardt Hospital, was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times.

Cerebral Palsy Symptoms

The symptoms vary from person to person, however, all persons with Cerebral Palsy have mobility and postural issues. Some of them may have difficulties with decreased cognitive function, vision, hearing, or speech, as well as spine and joint disorders.

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“The degree of the brain injury affects the symptoms. Spastic CP is the most common kind, and it causes limb weakness as well as stiffness of the limb muscles (spasticity). There may also be speech and swallowing issues. Some people may have problems with limb coordination (ataxia), and others may have aberrant limb motions. In addition to the child’s weakness, stiffness, coordination, and speech or swallowing problems, further symptoms include (not always) intellectual incapacity, visual and hearing abnormalities,” Dr Makhija says.

Cerebral Palsy Causes

Cerebral Palsy may also occur as a result of specific medical illnesses that the mother may have, which may halt the growth and creation of neurons in the brain, causing issues with movement, cognition, hearing, mental function, and socialising in the kid.

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“Cerebral Palsy may also be caused by the mother’s lifestyle choices, such as strong alcohol use, drug usage, or smoking, or it may be connected to other medical issues,” Dr Yogesh Kumar Gupta, Consultant-Pediatrics, Fortis Hospitals.

“Delayed gross motor development can result in difficulty sitting, rolling over, crawling standing, and so on,” explains Dr Gupta, “whereas delayed fine motor development might result in an inability to reach or grip, grabbing.”

Cerebral Palsy Treatment

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Speech/swallow therapy, physiotherapy, and occupational therapy are some of the therapies used to treat Cerebral Palsy. Depending on the severity, Botulinum toxin injection and anti-spasticity drugs can be used to control the stiffness (spasticity) of the limbs.

“Early identification of the illness and early commencement of therapy can considerably aid in overcoming the handicap associated with the condition,” says Dr Makhija.