Cerebral palsy doesn’t have a single cause. It can be triggered by a number of different conditions that damage the brain. One of these conditions is kernicterus, a complication caused by untreated infant jaundice. Demotix.com explains.
Jaundice is a condition caused by problems with the liver. A chemical called bilrubin builds up in the blood that is processed by the liver in healthy people. When this chemical builds up it causes the yellowing of the skin that is the major symptom of this diseases.
Many children are born with jaundice but it is easily treatable and usually clears up within the first two weeks after birth. However, if it is not treated then the buildup of bilrubin can cause brain damage. This is called kernicterus. Both acute and chronic forms exist. Due to the fact that a baby’s brain is still forming, it is highly sensitive to damage. One of the possible side effects of kernicterus is cerebral palsy. While kernicterus can be cured with treatment, there is no current cure for cerebral palsy.
It is vital that your doctors handle any infant jaundice as soon as possible to prevent one of the causes for cerebral palsy. A common therapy is to keep the infant under special lights that break down the bilrubin until the baby’s liver gets used to being outside of the womb.