What Causes Paralysis Attack
25, January 2024

What Causes Paralysis Attack

Ever heard about a Paralysis attack? It is a condition marked by the inability to move your muscles at your own well. This means that you lose voluntary control over your movement There are several different factors that may be responsible for it. Reading this blog will help you understand more about the Paralysis attack and what causes it. Continue reading to learn more. 

What is Paralysis? 

The term paralysis is not something new and you must have heard it before. The condition is marked by the loss of movement and sensation in some parts of the body. Now, this may be permanent or temporary and can be triggered by our writing of different factors ranging from stroke and spinal cord injuries to multiple sclerosis and traumatic injuries, as all these can lead to the disruption of nerve signals to the muscles in different parts of the body. It is the signals that are responsible for regulating movement, so, it would be wrong to say that stroke is a result of the loss of connection between the brain and parts of the body. It is also important to understand that paralysis not only affects movement but can also disrupt the flow of blood, lead to breathing, speaking & swallowing difficulties, affect sexual function and impact the functioning of various vital organs. 

Understanding the various types of Paralysis

Paralysis can be classified into several different types based on the area of the body it affects:

  • Complete paralysis is marked by the complete loss of control over the paralyzed muscles which means that there is no movement and no sensation at all. 
  • Incomplete paralysis which is also known as partial paralysis is marked by the incomplete loss of control and sensation in the affected muscle which means that you still have some sensation left. 
  • Localized paralysis, as the name suggests, affects only a particular area of the body which can be your face, feet, hands, vocal cords and so on. 
  • Generalized paralysis has a widespread impact and affects larger areas of the body. These can further be classified into monoplegia, Diplegia, Hemiplegia, Quadriplegia and so on. 

Getting familiar with the common causes of Paralysis

  • Stroke: Stroke is a serious condition triggered by the disrupted flow of blood to the brain due to a blockage or obstruction that prevents the brain cells from getting the oxygen and nutrients they need to survive. This causes the brain cells to die. A stroke is a medical emergency that causes the need for prompt action as it is marked by the progressive loss of brain cells, which causes long-lasting or irreversible damage. Stoke is broadly classified into three types - Ischemic stroke, Hemorrhagic stroke and mini-stroke
  • Tumors: These are malignant or benign masses made up of abnormal cells and tissues that can develop in any part of the brain or spinal cord. Malignant or cancerous tumors happen to be quite aggressive and these can either develop in the brain itself or may be a result of metastasis. These can grow in size and disrupt normal functions, giving rise to complications like paralysis. 
  • Spinal Cord Injury: As the name itself suggests, Spinal cord injury refers to damage to any part of the spinal cord, which is a delicate network of nerve fibres that serve as the main link of communication between the brain and the rest of the body. A spinal cord injury can affect the transmission of signals between the two, giving rise to life-altering complications like paralysis. Some of the common causes of spinal cord injuries include falls and road traffic accidents. 
  • Acute Flaccid Myelitis: AFM is a rare, but potentially serious neurological condition that involves the spinal cord, especially the gray matter. It is characterized by sudden weakness in the limbs and is commonly seen in small children. In extreme cases, it can lead to respiratory failure and drastic fluctuations in body temperature. It is a result of an infection caused by enterovirus. The condition is, however, preventable and all you need to do is practice good hygiene and take necessary precautions to make sure that you or your little one does not get in contact with the virus. 
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: ALS is a serious disease that affects the motor neuron. It is marked by the gradual regeneration of neurons in the nervous system. Initially, the patient is likely to feel muscle twitching and weakness in the limbs. The symptoms, however, aggravate as time passes by making it difficult for the person to move, speak, swallow and even breathe at times. The condition can be genetic and is most commonly seen in people in the age group of 60 to 85 years. Smoking happens to be a major risk factor especially for women post menopause. 
  • Brachial Plexus Injury: Brachial Plexus is a group of nerves that are found in the neck and upper part of the torso. It is these muscles that are responsible for regulating the movement of your arms, wrists and hands. Injuries to the Brachial Plexus are caused by excessive wear and tear or strain that can be due to a variety of different factors. The injury can be of several different types, such as Brachial Plexus Neuropraxia, Brachial Plexus Rupture, Brachial Plexus Neuroma, Brachial Plexus Avulsion and so on. 
  • Brain Injury: A brain injury is caused by a traumatic accident or severe blow to the brain. The degree of these injuries varies and so do the symptoms and complications triggered by it. While mild green injuries can lead to temporary symptoms, severe injuries can cause serious complications like paralysis, and coma and even pose a serious threat to the patient's life. Some of the common causes of brain injury include falls, road traffic accidents, physical assault & violence, and sports injuries. 
  • Cerebral Palsy: It is not a single disorder but a group of conditions that primarily impact a person's movement and posture. It is a result of developmental abnormalities in the brain and is primarily diagnosed in infants and small kids. Cerebral palsy not only makes it difficult for a child to move around but also leads to problems related to swallowing and speaking. The condition can affect different people in different ways and not every person with the condition may necessarily have paralysis. 
  • Multiple Sclerosis: MS is a potentially disabling and debilitating autoimmune condition that affects the central nervous system and damages the nerve fibres by attacking the protective layer that surrounds it. The condition is progressive in nature and it can even involve a person's vision, along with movement. The condition can be a result of an infection caused by certain bacteria and viruses. The condition can be genetic which means that it can be passed down from parents to children. 

How is paralysis managed? 

With proper care and treatment patients with paralysis can lead an improved life. Experts from the best hospitals in India emphasize the importance of physical and occupational therapies for managing the problem. While some patients me need to use adaptive and assistive equipment others can try prosthetic devices like braces. Neurorehabilitation modalities like Hybrid Assistive Limb have also shown promise in results for patients with certain types of paralysis. If you wish to know more about this phenomenal modality you can consult the experts from IBS Hospital

Dr Aaksha Shukla By -Dr Aaksha Shukla | January 25, 2024 | 9 Min Read

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