The majority of doctor and health practitioners diagnose infants for cerebral palsy by testing their motor skills and carefully evaluating their medical history. Aside from testing the infants for slow development (developmental delays) doctors will also look for abnormal muscle tone as well as unusual posture of infants. A diagnosis for cerebral palsy may also include several medical tests like CTs and MRIs as well as an ultrasound in determining the severity of the condition based on graphical results. By having a picture of the brain to go by, it will be easier to determine the causes of the disorder and rule out other impairments that may be suspected of contributing to the condition of the infant.
Reflex and Hand Preference Test
A reflex and hand preference test is one of the evaluation methods used to diagnose an infant with cerebral palsy. Reflex movements are basically the automatic response of the body to a particular cue. For instance, when a newborn baby is held on its back and its legs are positioned above its head, the infant will instinctively reach out its arm in a gesture that is known as the Moro reflex which is similar to an embrace. Upon reaching the age of six months and above, babies will lose this particular reflex but not for infants with cerebral palsy, since they might maintain the said reflex for an indefinite period of time.
Another way for diagnosing infants for cerebral palsy is by performing the hand preference test. This is based on the tendency of the baby to use either the left or right hand frequently. The doctor will be holding an object in front of the baby and will move it from side to side. The tendency of the infant is to extend its arms in order to reach out for the object. If an infant has a hand preference, he or she will be using the favored hand in order to get to the object even when the object is held closer to the other hand. More often than not, babies do not yet show hand preference during the first twelve months after birth. But on the other hand, babies with cerebral palsy may develop hand preference at a much earlier stage since one of their hands will not be as strong or useful as the other.
CT and MRI
Computed tomography is a state of the art imaging technology that utilizes X-rays and a computer in order to generate an anatomical image of the brain including its tissues and overall structure. Using the CT scan, it can reveal areas in the brain that remain underdeveloped or other physical impairments, such as abnormal cysts. The MRI on the other hand is a Magnetic Resonance Imaging that is a relatively new image generating technology for scanning the brain. This technology uses radio waves and a magnetic wave in order to map areas of the brain. Compared to Computed Tomography, MRI produces a much better image of the brain structures near the bone.
Author likes to read and submit articles about health, child health to be specific.You can visit About Cerebral Palsy to know more about how Lawyers who are also doctors can help you with the cerebral palsy case.