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Visual Dysfunction and Cerebral Palsy

Posted Jun 25 2012 9:30am

A study in Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology reports on visual dysfunction in children with cerebral palsy.  Since 60-70% of children with cerebral palsy have cerebral visual impairment, this study wanted to explore the visual dysfunction further.  One hundred twenty nine patients with cerebral palsy ranging in age from 3 months to 15 years old underwent many neuro-ophthalmological assessments.  The results indicated the following
"Visual dysfunction in diplegia was characterized mainly by refractive errors (75% of patients), strabismus (90%), abnormal saccadic movements (86%), and reduced visual acuity (82%).

The participants with hemiplegia showed strabismus (71%) and refractive errors (88%); oculomotor involvement was less frequent (59%). This group had the largest percentage of patients with altered visual field (64%).

Children with tetraplegia showed a severe neuro-ophthalmological profile, characterized by ocular abnormalities (98%), oculomotor dysfunction (100%), and reduced visual acuity (98%)".
Therapists, teachers and parents need to be aware that  neuro-ophthalmological disorders are one of the main symptoms in CP.  Therefore, this needs to be assessed early in children and determined how it will effect treatment plans and modifications.

Reference:  Neuro-ophthalmological disorders in cerebral palsy: ophthalmological, oculomotor, and visual aspects. ELISA FAZZI, SABRINA G SIGNORINI, ROBERTA LA PIANA, CHIARA BERTONE, WALTER MISEFARI, JESSICA GALLI, UMBERTO BALOTTIN and PAOLO EMILIO BIANCHI Article first published online: 19 JUN 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2012.04324.x
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