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Childhood Stroke

A stroke can happen to anyone at any age. A childhood stroke is considered to be from the 28th week of pregnancy up to 18 years of age.

A stroke occurs when there is a disruption to the blood supply to the brain. There are a number of potential causes of stroke in children.

Young child sits patiently during casting session
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Infectious diseases
  • Trauma to the head or neck
  • Vascular problems
  • Blood disorders

Often the cause might not be known. A childhood stroke can vary in terms of severity and its effects. Constraint induced movement therapy is an effective treatment for children who have acquired hemiplegia following childhood stroke.

Hemiplegia following childhood stroke: Hemiplegia means weakness or paralysis down one side of the body. The brain is divided into two halves, with one half of the brain controlling the opposite half of the body (eg right half of the brain controls the left side of the body). If a child has a stroke in one side of their brain, then they will have symptoms including weakness in the opposite side of their body.

If one arm and hand becomes weak with less movement due to childhood stroke, the child may learn to develop skills using the stronger arm only and neglect to use the weaker side.

Constraint induced movement therapy can help to improve the weakness caused by a childhood stroke by providing an intensive period of time to focus on the affected side and improve the strength, dexterity and amount of use of the arm.

Constraint induced movement therapy has been shown to achieve meaningful results that will last, and allows the child to use their affected side in everyday life.

If your child has had a stroke and you would like to discuss CIMT further, contact us for a free telephone consultation with one of our specialist CIMT therapists.

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Call us on 0330 223 0077 or email to speak to one of our specialist CIMT therapists.