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Medication for cerebral palsy tends to alleviate symptoms, rather than prevent or cure them. Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that usually manifest in the form of impaired motor function. While the typical cause of CP is a trauma to the brain, there is no known cure for the disease. Medication, which is prescribed to treat symptoms of cerebral palsy, tends to focus on specific symptoms of the disease.
For spasticity, muscle contractions, or tight, stiff limbs, muscle relaxants are usually given. These relaxants can take the form of Botox A injections, which tend to relax the topical muscle tissue through injectable medication. Three main other types of muscle relaxants used in medicating cerebral palsy are Diazepam, Baclofen, and Dantrolene. Diazepam, AKA Valium, is taken orally and operates on the brain’s electric signals, stemming them and their resulting muscle twitching. Baclofen works by doing similar things, but primarily in the spinal cord. Dantrolene is a medication used for cerebral palsy and works in the skeletal muscle, lessoning the muscle’s calcium content and stiffness.
Many of these muscle relaxants are benzodiazepines. These drugs work on the GABA receptors in the brain. The GABA chemical, when released by the brain, can affect muscle and motor function. The benzodiazepines act by calming the muscle contractions, allowing for a loosening effect in the muscles of the cerebral palsy patient. Physical therapy or surgery can sometimes help which on benzodiazepines.
Dopaminergic drugs act by trying to regulate the amounts of dopamine produced in the brain. Dopamine affects motor function in the hands, feet, and other parts of the body. Dopaminergic drugs such as Sinemet and Artane have both been successfully used as medication for cerebral palsy.
Anticonvulsant medication for cerebral palsy helps stem seizures. There are different types of anticonvulsant medications available but most fall into the families of barbiturates and benzodiazepines. Examples of anticonvulsants include Topamax, Lamictal, Trileptal, Zonegran, and Neurontin. Seizures are very common in cerebral palsy and these medications are effective in helping seizure stoppage.
In all cases, medication may be coupled with other types of treatments and therapies. All possible medication for cerebral palsy relief should be thoroughly discussed with a doctor. If you or a loved one has cerebral palsy due to a medical mistake you may be able to have all medication funded. Contact an experienced cerebral palsy lawyer through this Web site for a free consultation on your medication for cerebral palsy.