[toc]Every muscle has a certain tone which means there is a resting level resistance provided by the fibres of the muscle. A muscle tone is essential in nature because it protects the muscle from undue injury. Hypotonia is the partial or complete absence of tone in the muscle. Hypotonia is also known by other names such as low muscle tone, floppy baby syndrome, infantile hypotonia, congenital hypotonia, etc. In Hypotonia, the muscle or limb appears weak as muscle strength is low.
Hypotonia is usually diagnosed within 6 months of age because the child shows the inability to swallow or suck food. Physiotherapy is the first line of treatment in case of hypotonia. However, if this progresses into the severe stages, then other treatments like Botox injections or surgery can be done. Hypotonia can have acquired causes or inherited (congenital) causes as well. Here are some causes for hypotonia:
Causes of Hypotonia
This falls under the hereditary category of disorders which cause hypotonia as one of its symptoms. Down’s syndrome is a chromosomal abnormality seen it children and it is progressive.
In this disorder, the muscle integrity is maintained with the help of regular exercises and keeping the muscles active. There might be neurological complications in the affected individual so hypotonia is usually not noticed until later years.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy
In this condition, the spinal cord and muscles around the spine are affected. As a result, the nerve conduction throughout the body is blocked. Muscles tend to get a low tone due to this. Along with hypotonia, there is a lack of joint position sense and the patient is unable to bear weight on any of the joints.
This occurs as a complication during child birth. The child’s brain is deprived of oxygen for certain duration of time and that affects a particular part of his or her brain. It usually affects motor functions which mean the muscles. Hypotonia is one of the results when the brain’s oxygen supply is cut down. Other complications caused by cerebral palsy could be the intellect and cognitive functions of the brain being affected. Hypotonia can be maintained or in some cases even reversed, but mental retardation is irreversible.
This is a neuronal disorder which causes muscular weakness because of lack of neurotransmitters in the neuromuscular junction. This could be moderate to severe in nature and can also cause muscles to lose their tone. Even if pregnant ladies are affected with myasthenia gravis, there is a chance that they’re babies might be affected with hypotonia.
Connective Tissue Disorder
There are conditions that affected the connective tissues like muscles, bones and tendons. They are usually congenital and the child starts showing symptoms from a very early age. The connective tissue isn’t formed completely or has complications during formation. Hypotonia could be resulted from one of these connective tissue disorders.
Hypotonia can be really hard to manage if you don’t treat it immediately. If you notice any signs of hypotonia it is wise to consult your doctor as soon as possible so that you can help your child lead a normal life.