A spastic hemiparesis is a form of cerebral palsy that affects only one side of the body. It is caused by damage in the opposite side of the brain by a stroke, bleeding into the brain, trauma, or a problem in the brain’s development. The arm is usually more affected than the leg; there may be major problems with the use of the hand. Such children will usually be able to learn to walk with a limp. Since the damage is focal (onesided), these individuals are less likely to have mental retardation. Although we do not understand all of the factors that cause one person’s damaged brain to provoke seizures while another’s does not, and cannot predict which child will have seizures and which will not, in general we do know that a child with a hemiparesis whose CT or MRI scan shows brain damage is more likely to have seizures than one who does not have these problems. We treat the seizures as we do other focal seizures. Unlike the child with a spastic quadraparesis, the child with a hemiparesis may be a candidate for focal epilepsy surgery to remove the damaged tissue causing the seizures if they are uncontrollable.
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COPING WITH THE UNCERTAINTIES OF SEIZURES AND EPILEPSY: SPASTIC HEMIPARESISA spastic hemiparesis is a form of cerebral palsy that affects only one side of the body. It is caused by damage in the opposite side of the brain by a stroke, bleeding into the brain, trauma, or a problem in the brain’s development. The arm is usually more affected than the leg; there may be major problems with the use of the hand. Such children will usually be able to learn to walk with a limp. Since the damage is focal (onesided), these individuals are less likely to have mental retardation. Although we do not understand all of the factors that cause one person’s damaged brain to provoke seizures while another’s does not, and cannot predict which child will have seizures and which will not, in general we do know that a child with a hemiparesis whose CT or MRI scan shows brain damage is more likely to have seizures than one who does not have these problems. We treat the seizures as we do other focal seizures. Unlike the child with a spastic quadraparesis, the child with a hemiparesis may be a candidate for focal epilepsy surgery to remove the damaged tissue causing the seizures if they are uncontrollable.*199\208\8*

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