Hemiplegia is a condition in which half of a body is paralyzed.Hemiplegia is more severe than hemiparesis,wherein one half of the body is weakenedbut not paralysed. Hemiplegia may be congenitalor acquired from an illness or stroke.
Hemiplegia is not an uncommon medical disorder. In elderly individuals,strokes are the most common cause of Hemiplegia. In children, the majority ofcases of hemiplegia has no identifiable cause and occurs with a frequency ofabout one in every thousand births. Experts indicate that the majority of casesof hemiplegia that occur up to the age of two should be considered to becerebral palsy until proven otherwise.
Hemiplegia means paralysis of one side of the body but the clinical featurescan vary tremendously. Both the symptoms and intensity are variable from personto person. The classic symptoms include:
- Difficulty with gait
- Difficulty with balance while standing or walking
- Having difficulty with fine motor activities like holding, grasping or pinching
- Increasing stiffness and rigidity of joints
- Muscle spasms
- Inability to hold bladder or bowel
- Difficulty with speech
- Difficulty swallowing food
- Significant delay in achieving developmental milestones like standing, smiling, crawling or speaking
- The majority of children who develop hemiplegia also have abnormal mental development and have a low IQ
- Behaviors problems like anxiety, anger, irritability, lack of concentration or comprehension
- Emotions- depression
- Adults can have the same symptoms as children when hemiplegia occurs