Sleep Disorders Underreported in Cerebral Palsy Patients

cp sleep disorders

New research tells us that serious sleep disorders have joined the list of other life-altering complications caused by cerebral palsy.

The Study at a Glance

Carried out by researchers with the Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in Minnesota, the study found that sleep disorders – including sleep apnea – are often underreported by cerebral palsy patients. Because of this, the conditions are left untreated for extended periods.

For the study, 215 patients with cerebral palsy and/or epilepsy were studied for their vulnerabilities to obstructive sleep apnea – a dangerous condition in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.

Dr. John Garcia, lead researcher for the study, emphasized that children who don’t receive proper treatment for their sleep disorders are more prone to seizures and respiratory illnesses.

All Cerebral Palsy Patients Should be Screened for Sleep Disorders

There’s additional research that shows children with cerebral palsy who receive effective treatment for sleep apnea actually experience a nearly 20% improvement in their overall health.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Originally named Little’s Disease due to its discovery by William Little, cerebral palsy refers to a group of neurological conditions that permanently affects body movement and muscle coordination.

The condition is caused by a brain injury sustained by the child before, during or shortly after birth.

Specific types of the condition are:

  • Spastic cerebral
    The most common form – affecting about 80% of cerebral palsy patients – reveals itself through tightness in one or more of the muscle groups
  • Spastic hemiplegia
    Affects the opposite of the body that was injured (an injury to the right side of the child’s body will affect the left side)
  • Spastic diplegia
    Restricts movement in the lower extremities of the body
  • Spastic quadriplegia
    Affects the entire body, including both arms and legs, and causes uncontrollable shaking and fluid buildup

Does Your Child Have Cerebral Palsy? Call The Fitzgerald Law Firm

We’ve represented many children with cerebral palsy and their families. We thoroughly investigate the cases and aggressively pursue compensation to recoup monies lost from medical treatments, rehab, in-home care, surgery, etc.

If your child has cerebral palsy, call us here at the Fitzgerald Law Firm for a free consultation at 800-323-9900.