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Diseases » Cerebral Palsy » Glossary

Glossary for Cerebral Palsy

  • Aksu von Stockhausen syndrome: A rare condition observed in a Turkish family and characterized by various head and neck malformations that have resulted from abnormal development of the branchial arches.
  • Angelman syndrome: A rare genetic disorder characterized by a puppet-like gait, fits of laughter and characteristic facial features.
  • Aromatic amino acid decarboxylase deficiency: A rare inborn error of metabolism involving the deficiency of an enzyme (aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase) needed to process aromatic amino acids. This results in a deficiency of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. The condition manifests as movement and neurological problems.
  • Ataxia: It is a neurological sign and symptom consisting of gross lack of co-ordination of muscle movements.
  • Balance symptoms: Problems with balance or vertigo
  • Brain conditions: Medical conditions that affect the brain
  • Childbirth: Delivery of a fetus by a pregnant woman.
  • Choreoathetosis: Choreoathetosis is the occurrence of involuntary movements in a combination of chorea and athetosis.
  • Female reproductive toxicity: There is mounting evidence which indicates that exposure to certain agents may produce adverse reproductive or fetal developmental effects. The possible range of effects includes reduced fertility, low birth weight, childhood cancer, spontaneous abortion and birth defects. Agents which may be implicated in these adverse effects includes anticancer drugs, carbon disulfide, carbon monoxide, lead, pesticides, organic solvents and tobacco smoke.
  • Fetal methylmercury syndrome: Fetal exposure to methyl mercury which can pass from the mother to the fetus through the placenta.
  • Floppy baby: When a baby is unresponsive and has no muscle tone
  • Head Conditions: Conditions that affect the head
  • Head injury: An injury to the head
  • Hemolytic disease of the newborn: Blood disease in newborns mainly related to Rh incompatibility
  • Infant health conditions: Medical conditions typically affecting infants (including newborns and babies under one year old).
  • Jaundice: Bile or liver problem causing yellowness.
  • Kernicterus: A rare condition involving high blood levels of bilirubin which can also accumulate in the brain and lead to neurological problems.
  • Learning disabilities: Various developmental problems impairing learning or schooling.
  • Leukomalacia: Softening or destruction of the white matter of the brain. Brain tissue that surrounds fluid-filled parts of the brain (ventricles) is destroyed. It tends to occur mainly in premature or newborn babies who have been deprived of oxygen or have poor blood flow to parts of the brain. Intrauterine infections and premature membrane rupture tend to predispose infants to this condition. This type of brain destruction can cause cerebral palsy. Severity of symptoms varies according to the degree of injury to the brain.
  • Meningitis: Dangerous infection of the membranes surrounding the brain.
  • Mercury poisoning -- Folk Remedies: Various folk remedies and medicines contain inorganic mercury and mercury salts. They can lead to mercury poisoning and severe cases can result in death. Children tend to be more sensitive to the effects of mercury poisoning than adults. Even low levels of exposure can cause neurological symptoms in infants and young children. Fetal exposure to mercury can also result in symptoms.
  • Mercury poisoning -- consumption of contaminated fish: Eating fish contaminated with mercury can lead to mercury poisoning in humans. The severity and range of symptoms experienced can vary greatly depending on the level and duration of exposure. Severe poisoning can lead to death. Pregnant women who eat mercury contaminated fish may give birth to infants who suffer symptoms such as ataxia, tremors, seizures, mental retardation and cerebral palsy. An epidemic was reported where hundreds of Japanese villagers suffered mercury poisoning after eating fish contaminated by a nearby factory. Nearly half of the victims eventually died and children born during that period suffered a variety of neurological problems.
  • Microencephaly: Small brain. The condition is often characterized by a small head and neurological problems. The type and severity of symptoms are variable.
  • Movement disorders: Medical conditions affecting the movement systems, such as walking or tremor.
  • Movement symptoms: Changes to movement or motor abilities
  • Muscle conditions: Any condition that affects the muscles of the body
  • Musculoskeletal conditions: Medical conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system of bones, muscles and related structures.
  • Neonatal Jaundice: Common skin yellowing jaundice in newborn babies.
  • Nervous system conditions: Diseases affecting the nerves and the nervous system.
  • Neuromuscular conditions: Conditions affecting the nerve-muscle systems.
  • Paralysis: The loss of motor function due to dysfunction of the spinal cord
  • Polymicrogyria: Polymicrogyria refers to abnormal brain development where the brain has abnormally smooth gyri (convolutions) on the surface of the brain. The anomaly is often occurs as part of another syndrome. Patients can present with a wide range and severity of symptoms which can make the prognosis difficult to determine.
  • Poor feeding: Poor feeding (mostly in infants)
  • Premature Birth: Early delivery of a fetus (before 37th week).
  • Rhesus isoimmunisation: The antibody mediated destruction of red blood cells by those sensitive
  • Rhombencephalosynapsis: Abnormal development of the brain where the vermis of the cerebellum is partially or totally absent and the cerebellar hemispheres are joined together. The type and severity of symptoms depends on the severity of the abnormality - symptoms can range from mild ataxia to cerebral palsy and mental retardation. The condition is usually associated with various other abnormalities or syndromes.
  • Rubella: A contagious viral infection caused by the Rubella virus which produces a rash and lymph node swelling. It can have serious implication in pregnant women as the virus can be transmitted through the placenta and cause serious fetal defects or even fetal death.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss: Hearing loss due to abnormal functioning or damage to the hearing nerve or the cochlea (inner ear) or the part of the brain that processes sound. The hearing problem may be present at birth or may be acquired through such things as aging, excessive noise or diseases such as meningitis.
  • Shaken Baby Syndrome: A condition caused by violent shaking of a baby.
  • Spastic disorders: Brain disorders leading to sustained spasms, stiffness and rigidity
  • Spastic hemiplegia: one sided loss of movement
  • Stroke: Serious brain event from bleeding or blood clots.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury: Brain injury from trauma or accident.
  • Walking symptoms: Problems with walking.


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