Paralysis: 5.4 Million People With Paralysis Around The World - CliniDo Blog
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Paralysis: 5.4 Million People With Paralysis Around The World

Paralysis

Paralysis: 5.4 Million People With Paralysis Around The World

Overview

Paralysis happens when a person is unable to move their muscles voluntarily after something wrong happens with their connection to their brain. A nervous system disorder causes paralysis. Furthermore, according to the cause, it may be permanent or temporary. (1, 2, 3)

Summary:

It happens when a person is unable to move their muscles voluntarily.

Symptoms:

Symptoms differ depending on the type and causes.

The most common paralysis symptom is the loss of ability to move the muscles voluntarily. 

Other symptoms include:

  • Numbness
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Twitches
  • Pain in the affected muscles
  • Muscle weakness
  • Stiffness

Furthermore: it affects any part of the human body, including:

  • The face
  • The hands
  • Monoplegia: one arm or leg
  • Hemiplegia: one side of the body 
  • Paraplegia: both legs 
  • Tetraplegia or quadriplegia: both arms and legs (2, 4)

Summary: 

It affects any part of the human body.

Causes of Paralysis:

According to a survey conducted by NCBI (The National Center for Biotechnology Information), the most common causes of paralysis are results:

1- multiple sclerosis

2- Cerebral palsy (CP)

3- Stroke

4- Spinal cord injury (5)

Other causes include:

  • Brain tumor: Weakness on one side of the body gradually.
  • Hereditary spastic paraplegia, Friedreich’s ataxia, or muscular dystrophy: Weakness in the legs.
  • Motor neuron disease, spinal muscular atrophy: gradual weakness in the arms and legs
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome: paralysis in the legs that spreads to the arms and face over a few days or weeks.
  • Cerebral palsy, Spina bifida, or spinal muscular atrophy: paralysis from birth.
  • Lyme disease: It starts in the weeks, months, or years after a tick bite. 
  • Polio syndrome: paralysis that starts many years after a polio infection.
  • Weakness in parts of the face – a tumor on a nerve, melanoma skin cancer, or head and neck cancer. (2)

Summary:

The most common causes of paralysis are the result of (multiple sclerosis – Cerebral palsy (CP) – Stroke – Spinal cord injury).

How is it diagnosed?

A physician will examine the patient and ask them about any injuries. 

And for gradual paralysis, the patient will talk about when they started seeing the issue. A physician may ask about one or more of these tests:

  • X-rays

 show broken bones that may cause nerve injury.

  • Imaging tests

 CT scans or MRIs to check for signs of a stroke or brain injury.

  • Myelogram

checks for spinal cord and nerve injuries.

  • An electromyogram (EMG)

 tests the electrical activity of nerves and muscles.

  • A spinal tap: 

lumbar puncture tests spinal fluid for infection, inflammation, and disorders like multiple sclerosis (MS). (1)

Summary:

There are many procedures to diagnose paralysis including lab tests, CT scans, MRIs, and other medical tests.

Treatments:

Some people undergo a partial or full recovery. But, now, there is no cure for paralysis. However, it depends on the cause and type of it.

Temporary paralysis: Bell’s palsy or stroke may recover their own without medical treatment.

Furthermore, when it results from a spinal cord injury or chronic neurological condition: a person may recover partial muscle control.

Although rehabilitation does not cure paralysis entirely, it can help control symptoms from worsening.

Available treatments include:

  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Medications
  • Nerve transfer surgery
  • Mobility devices, such as braces and wheelchairs
  • Surgical amputation

Social and emotional help can also play vital roles in a patient’s treatment. (4)

Summary:

Some people undergo a partial or full recovery. But, now, there is no cure for it. However, it depends on the cause and type of paralysis.

Request an appointment if you want to speak to a neurologist by CliniDo