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Paralysis Causes

Paralysis is commonly caused by damage to the brain or nervous system, particularly the spinal cord. Major factors that have been identified to contribute to paralysis include: trauma, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), stroke, Guillain-Barr? syndrome, poliomyelitis, multiple sclerosis, botulism, and spina bifida. In addition, poisons that disrupt nerve function (such as curare, for example) can also cause paralysis. There are still a wide range of factors or conditions that can give rise to paralysis; and in some cases, there may be no ascertainable cause at all.

Paralysis Definition

Paralysis pertains to the complete loss of muscle function and/or sensation in one or more muscle groups.

Paralysis Diagnosis

Diagnosis for paralysis is mostly based on the patient's medical history, recent history of trauma or injury, clinical presentations and a physical exam. A neurologic exam may also be done to assess the reflexes, strength, and sensation of the affected areas in comparison to normal areas. Imaging studies, such as computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, or a myelography may also help uncover the site of the injury. Electromyography and nerve conduction velocity tests are also recommended to evaluate the function of the muscles and peripheral nerve.

Paralysis Symptoms and Signs

The primary symptom of paralysis is loss of muscle function, which may occur alongside a loss of feeling or sensation in the affected area. More specific symptoms vary according to the area or location of paralysis.

Paralysis Treatment

Perhaps the only definite treatment for paralysis is to treat its underlying cause. The loss of strength and function in paralysis can be managed through a rehabilitation program, which may include: physical therapy, occupation therapy, respiratory therapy, speech therapy, and other specialties.

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