Cerebral palsy: Doctors share prevention tips as Satya Nadella’s son dies at 26


1% in children in India reportedly suffer from Celebral Palsy or brain damage that causes loss of control in the arms or legs and weakness in the body. Celebral means from the brain and palsy means weakness and according to Celebral Palsy Guide, it is a group of neurological disorders that affect motor and developmental skills, can be caused by medical malpractice but is often preventable.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s son, Zain Nadella, died Monday morning. He was 26 years old and had been born with Cerebral Palsy. Jeff Sperring, CEO of Children’s Hospital where Zain received much of his treatment, wrote in a message to his Board which was shared with Microsoft executives, “Zain will be remembered for his eclectic taste in music, his bright sunny smile and the immense joy he brought to his family and all those who loved him.”

Age group: 

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Atma Ram Bansal, Associate Director of Epilepsy Programme at Institute of Neurosciences in Medanta Hospital, revealed that the condition is caused due to the development of the brain. Highlighting the age group it affects, Dr Atma Ram Bansal shared, “If the development of the brain is damaged, then it leads to Celebral Palsy. It happens majorly before birth or during delivery. Infants and child are majorly affected by the disease.”

Prevention tips: 

In order to reduce the risks of a child developing Celebral Palsy after being born, parents should make sure that their child is vaccinated for all common infant infections, use the correct car seat that is suitable for the child’s weight and height, use a crib with bed rail, never shake the baby nor leave it on high countertops or surfaces unattended. However, Celebral Palsy is not only caused by head injuries taking place during early childhood but is often the result of complications during pregnancy and delivery.

According to Dr Atma Ram Bansal, the cerebral palsy can be prevented by taking good care both during pregnancy and delivery. He asserted, “The care is very important for the child’s brain’s development. With the improving obstructical care during delivery, the condition can be controlled. Cerebral Palsy is becoming less prevalent due to development in the nursing care in India.”

Symptoms: 

Floppiness, decrease muscle tone, plasticity in the legs or commonly tightness in the legs or the child walking with the stiffness in the legs are some of the symptoms seen in children suffering from Celebral Palsy.

Treatment: 

Stressing that prevention is the most important treatment, Dr Atma Ram Bansal advised good care during delivery and pregnancy. He revealed, “There is no specific medicine for the condition. There are therapies that can be physical therapies, occupational therapies, recreational therapies. In some cases if the muscle tightness is too much, the surgery is performed and in some cases Botox injection is prescribed to the kids to decrease tightness.”



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