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Jeff Brody
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Computed Tomography (CT) for Cerebral Palsy

Since cerebral palsy usually can be difficult to diagnose, doctors use intensive methods to study suspected cases.  Cerebral palsy symptoms may not be noticeable for up to three years, and sometimes other disorders or diseases can mimic symptoms of CP.  Making a sure diagnosis of cerebral palsy is an important first step in the treatment and therapy of a child with cerebral palsy. 

Cerebral palsy refers to a group of motor function related disorders and is usually caused by some trauma or injury to the brain before, during, or shortly after birth.  Symptoms vary, but usually they include some sort of muscle problem and walking or moving problems.  Delayed reactions, inability to walk or speak at the normal age, or other symptoms may be a sign of cerebral palsy.  At times computed tomography (also known as CT Scans, or CAT scans) can be used in making a determination and diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

The most effective diagnoses of cerebral palsy come only after physical manifestation of the disorder occurs.  A computed tomography examination will help in making sure that the disease of the victim is not something else, like a neurological disease or other progressive disorder that may cause damage in the future.  CT scans can detect such things as bleeding in the brain, skull fractures, or other related brain injuries.  Bleeding in the brain can lead to cerebral palsy, or may even be a sign of CP.

Computed tomography examinations are useful in looking at soft tissues (vs. an X-ray) found in the brain, liver, and organs of the stomach.  A CT scan looks for and can diagnose certain brain hemorrhaging and leukomalacia. 

A computed tomography exam can also detect and monitor hydrocephalus.  Hydrocephalus is an accumulation of fluids in the ventricles of the brain and is often seen in children who later have cerebral palsy.  It has been noted that children who have cerebral palsy often have more brain scars, cysts, and other obvious cranial problems than other children.  A CT scan may be useful in detecting cerebral palsy, especially if a brain scar is found.  These scars may turn into motor function problems for the child later in life.

A CT scan utilizes x-ray equipment in order to take multiple pictures at differing angles.  The results of a computed tomography examination are the final pictures of all of the different angles put together in order to clearly examine various organs and tissues.  Computed tomography for cerebral palsy can often provide much more information than regular x-rays can.  CT scans can also display bones and blood vessels at the same time because of the multiple angles. 

CT scans may be covered partially by insurance.  If your cerebral palsy case is the result of some medical mistake, procedures such as CT scans can be covered through a lawsuit.  A failure to detect signs of CP or a failure to administer a CT scan may be a problem as well.  Contact an experienced lawyer through this Web site for a free consultation to see if you qualify.

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