Hemiplegia and stroke

Hemiplegia In Stroke

                                            Inability to move a group of muscles of one side of the body. When hemiplegia is caused by a stroke, it involves muscles of  face, arms and legs Hemiplegia is the term use to describe paralysis of one side of the body. The term can be broken down into “hemi” means “half,” and “plegia,” means paralysis. The most common cause of hemiplegia is  stroke.   It occurs when stroke affects the  corticospinal tracts. The exact cause of hemiplegia is not known , but it appears that when  brain is deprived of oxygen , it  results in the death of  neurons. When the corticospinal tract is damaged, the injury is usually manifested on the opposite side of the body. For example if one has an injury to the right side of the brain, the hemiplegia will be on the left side of the body.Besides  all difficulties that come along with not being able to move one whole side of the body, hemiplegia often accompanied  with other problems  such as:

  • spasticity
  • atrophy
  • focal seizures
  • pain.
                                                    Hemiplegia is a more severe than hemiparesis.  In hemiparesis  there is weakness on on one side of the body. Hemiplegia may be congenital or may be acquired after an infection, stroke or trauma to the brain. In children hemiplegia is usually congenital-  means  it is acquired at birth due to unknown cause. The most common cause of hemiplegia in childhood is cerebral palsy. In most cases of hemiplegia stroke, when the injury is to the right side of the brain, the injury will appear on left side of the body and vice versa. The symptoms of hemiplegia stroke  vary  from child to child .  The typical symptoms includes

 There is difficulty  in walking
– Difficulty with balance while standing
– Difficulty with fine hand activity like holding, writing, using a spoon.
–  There is continous stiffness and spasms in the muscles
– Weakness on affected side
– Seizures are common
–  There is Bowel or bladder incontinence
– Delay in developmental growth like crawling, standing, smiling or jumping
– In many children who have cerebral palsy, the mental development is not normal and the IQ is usually below 70
– In adults who suffer from hemiplegia the mental effects depend on severity of the injury.

Once hemiplegia stroke has developed in children, it does not progress but there may be problems associated with muscle spasticity, joint contractures and formation of pressure sores. Mild cases of the disorder may improve and these children may be able to use a wheel chair or an ambulatory like a walking aid. Severe cases are either bed ridden or confined to a wheel chair.

Drugs which are mainly  used to reduce muscle spasms and seizures. Sometimes surgery may be done  to reduce joint contractures and increase mobility in the joints. Other individuals may benefit from use of orthotic devices, braces and splints. These devices may help the individual  to become more independent and be able to walk. Those individuals who are not able to eat may need placement of a feeding tube in the stomach.  Physical therapy  can increase range of motion in the joint, prevent contractures and may help individuals to become mobile if done regularly.

 

Article publié pour la première fois le 19/10/2011

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