Paralysis in Children

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Paralysis in Children


a group of children’s diseases produced by lesions of the nervous system and accompanied by the absence or limitation of voluntary movement. Among childhood paralyses are flaccid paralysis, which occurs after acute infectious poliomyelitis, and infantile spastic paralysis.

Infantile spastic paralysis (cerebral palsy of childhood) arises as a result of lesions of the motor centers or motor neural pathways in viral diseases (measles, influenza, and the like), accompanied by meningoencephalitis, or as a result of cerebral hemorrhage during prolonged and difficult or precipitate labor, and so on. Infantile spastic paralysis most often develops as a result of cerebral hemorrhage in premature infants born in a state of asphyxia—Little’s disease (named for the English physician W. Little, who described it). The disease is manifested by increased muscle tonus, as a result of which the infant’s hips are turned inward, the knees are pressed together (in severe cases the legs are crossed, and the child can neither sit nor walk), and only the toes of the feet touch the ground. When there is agitation or a strong stimulus (a sudden loud sound or an abrupt, unexpected passive movement), the muscle tonus increases, by virtue of which voluntary movements are hampered. Often there are forcible, involuntary excessive movements, or hyperkineses.

Treatment during the acute period is symptomatic; subsequently, the treatment consists of baths, massage, kinesitherapy, motivating the child toward active movement, muscle relaxants, glutamic acid, cerebrolysinum, GammaIon, and orthopedic measures.


Tsuker, M. B. “Detskie tserebral’nye paralichi.” In Mnogotomnoe rukovodstvo po pediatrii, vol. 8. Moscow, 1965. Pages 233-49.
Eidinova, M. B., and E. N. Pravdina-Vinarskaia.Detskie tserebral’nye paralichi i puti ikh preodoleniia. Moscow, 1959. (Contains bibliography.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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