Adults who have cerebral palsy face a heightened risk of suffering from depression and anxiety, according to a recent study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Neurology. Researchers at the University of Surrey in Guildford, England, over six years followed individuals who had cerebral palsy without intellectual disability and found that 18.3 percent of people with cerebral palsy had a new event of depression and 15.3 percent had a new event of anxiety.
What the Study Found
According to an article on Medpage Today, compared with the matched reference group, cerebral palsy patients showed an increased risk of depression and anxiety after controlling for other chronic conditions and the number of doctor visits. Experts say adults with cerebral palsy are now living later into adulthood and what this means is health conditions in adults with cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities often go undetected.
While depression and anxiety are potentially treatable conditions, they must first be detected in order to be treated, experts say. It is also important to recognize that cerebral palsy represents a range of conditions and that these disorders may present differently depending on the underlying cause and level of cognitive function.
For the study, researchers analyzed data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink primary database, a collection of consultation data from general practices throughout the United Kingdom from 1987 to 2015. Using diagnostic codes, researchers identified 1,705 patients with cerebral palsy and matched each one to three controls without cerebral palsy.
While other research has produced similar findings, this particular study has added to it by showing that the risk of depression and anxiety is higher only in people with cerebral palsy who do not have intellectual disability. Those with cerebral palsy as well as intellectual disability actually did not have a greater risk of depression or anxiety when compared with matched controls.
Understanding Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a developmental disorder and leading cause of disability in young children. It affects about 500,000 children and adults in the United States. Cerebral palsy is a condition that often occurs as a result of brain injury or head trauma suffered during birth. Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the motor cortex of the brain, which affects muscle control and coordination. So, children with cerebral palsy frequently struggle with walking and fine motor skills.
The type and severity of symptoms can vary from one patient to another and an individual’s case may be made more complex by the presence of other conditions such as cognitive disabilities, epilepsy, vision problems, etc. Treatment for cerebral palsy is often highly individualized to suit the patient’s needs. There is no cure for cerebral palsy. However, there are a number of treatments that could provide relief from symptoms.
Filing a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit
Cerebral palsy can occur, for example, when a child suffers a traumatic brain injury during a difficult delivery and/or the doctor improperly used birth-assistive tools such as forceps or vacuum extractors. A number of these birth injuries that occur during labor and delivery may be prevented by early intervention and proper fetal monitoring. When risk factors are present, a Cesarean section may help deliver the baby safely.
When a birth injury is caused by a doctor or by a medical professional’s negligence (carelessness) or wrongdoing, the at-fault parties including the doctor, medical staff, technicians and/or hospital, etc. may well be held accountable. Plaintiffs in such cases can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc.
If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy as the result of medical negligence (carelessness), the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
Our law firm helped a family secure a $43,940,000 verdict for a child who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Another client received a $23,500,000 verdict for a child who developed cerebral palsy and mental retardation after suffering a birth injury. Both verdicts were so large that they were later reduced on appeal. We also recovered $1,400,000 for a newborn who lost motion in the arm due to doctors applying incorrect force on the baby’s head. This is called Erb’s palsy or brachial plexus palsy.
We have seen many cases where New York City Health and Hospital Corporation hospitals deliver babies who are born with cerebral palsy or erb’s palsy stemming from negligence and/or medical malpractice in the labor and delivery etc. of the children. The following list identifies some of these hospitals (operated by New York City Health and Hospital Corporation):
• Jacobi Hospital aka Bronx Municipal 1400 Pelham Parkway South Bronx, New York 10461 718-918-5000
• Lincoln Hospital 234 East 149th Street Bronx, New York 10451 718-579-5000
• North Central Bronx Hospital 3424 Kossuth Avenue Bronx, New York 10467 718-519-5000
• Coney Island Hospital 2601 Ocean Parkway Brooklyn, New York 11235 718-616-3000
• Kings County Hospital 451 Clarkson Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11203 718-245-3131 BIGGEST HOSPITAL IN THE WORLD
• Woodhull Hospital 760 Broadway Brooklyn, New York 11206 718-963-8000
• Bellevue Hospital 462 First Avenue New York, New York 10016 212-562-5555
• Harlem Hospital 506 Lenox Avenue New York, New York 10037 212-939-1000
• Metropolitan Hospital 1901 First Avenue New York, New York 10029 212-423-6262
• Elmhurst Hospital 79-01 Broadway Elmhurst, New York 11373 718-334-4000
• Queens Hospital Center 82-68 164th Street Jamaica, New York 11432 718-883-3000
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
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