Overview Of Potential Treatments For Periventricular Leukomalacia

Periventricular leukomalacia seems to be a brain injury that infants experience. They may be at a high risk of it if they are born prematurely or at a low birth weight. This injury appears to damage white matter around the ventricles. White matter should transmit messages from the brain to the nerves and vice versa. Unfortunately, symptoms may be quite different from child to child with this injury. However, babies seem to be at a high risk of developing cerebral palsy due to this injury. The somewhat common signs may include tight muscles, vision problems, motor issues, and development delays.

Treatment for periventricular leukomalacia seems to change based on the child's symptoms. However, some methods appear to be standard. This may include physical therapy for PVL. Occupational therapy for cerebral palsy seems to be common as well. Some children may require medication for periventricular leukomalacia, such as medication for seizures. Of course, parents may wish to understand the common periventricular leukomalacia treatments and then discuss them with a doctor.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy may treat motor issues that develop in this condition. Affected children seem to deal with developmental delays and trouble reaching milestones. Examples of the issues they may experience include holding their head up at four months and sitting at six months. Children with this condition may find it tough to walk at one year old too.

Physical therapists may help by examining the affected child. This should assist them in figuring out what delays are happening. If they can do this, the therapist may then develop a plan. Part of a child's physical therapy for this disorder may include parental assistance. Their parents may help them progress at home. The therapist seems to help children learn how to move their muscles in specific ways. They should also determine how much practice a child with this condition needs.

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Speech Therapy

Speech therapy may be another treatment for this disorder. It seems to help if affected children develop cerebral palsy as a result. This therapy may assist children struggling with speech milestones. Spastic issues with speech appear to be common. Children with them may slur their words. Another possible issue may be ataxic, such as muscle control issues in the throat, neck, and face. Finally, patients may deal with athetoid speech problems. One example seems to be monotone speech with some abnormal pauses and accelerations.

Children appear to strengthen speech muscles, boost motor skills, and improve their understanding of language in this therapy. Some children may receive help with swallowing problems in speech therapy. Speech therapy should help children communicate. It seems to boost their social, cognitive, and emotional development as well. Ultimately, children with this disorder may gain independence with speech therapy.

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Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy may also be used to treat this disorder. Of course, the therapist's role seems to shift based on the child's needs and symptoms. This may include if they developed cerebral palsy. Occupational therapy appears to teach essential skills for independence. It may provide alternative ways of completing basic tasks. Children seem to receive help to improve their playing and learning capacity. The therapist may assist them with fine motor skills, such as brushing their teeth. This therapy may help children process sensory information.

Children who have this condition may see an improved quality of life with this treatment. They may be more confident and independent. The skills they develop in regards to playing and learning may help in other areas. This form of therapy seems to help reduce the burden on parents and caregivers as well.

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Assistive Devices

Children with this disorder appear to benefit from adaptive and assistive devices. These devices may make their symptoms easier to manage. This equipment should improve their function as well. Assistive devices may be the only way for children with this condition to be independent. This seems to be more likely if they developed cerebral palsy.  The devices should boost their academic performance and social life. They may also allow children to participate in more activities, express themselves easier, and be more confident.

Mobility devices appear to be a common choice in this condition. Examples may include walkers, braces, and wheelchairs. Some children seem to use communication boards with pictures to show their ideas. Speech-generating devices may assist children who have trouble creating words. Typing devices appear to help those who cannot hold a pen well.

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Unfortunately, it appears that no medication can treat the disorder itself. However, some medications may help with reducing symptom severity. Children with this condition may have uncontrolled spasms and tremors. Spasticity seems to be common too. Doctors may prescribe anticholinergics for these symptoms. Anticonvulsants may treat them as well. Seizures seem to reduce with the second medication.

Some affected children appear to deal with low mood or issues with emotional regulation. They may receive antidepressants. In addition, children seem to need anti-inflammatories to reduce the pain and inflammation from this disorder. If children have digestive problems, they may require stool softeners or similar medications.

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Katherine MacAulay