What Is Cerebral Palsy?
What is Cerebral Palsy?
A number of disorders of the developing brain affecting body movement, posture and muscle coordination.
- Caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain, usually occurring during fetal development; before, during or shortly after birth; during infancy; or during early childhood.
- Not a disease, not progressive, nor communicable.
Types of Cerebral Palsy:
- Spastic Cerebral Palsy: characterized by muscle stiffness and permanent contractions
- Athetoid or Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy: characterized by uncontrolled, slow, writhing movements
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: characterized by poor coordination and balance
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a term used to describe a problem with movement and posture that makes certain activities difficult. Even though someone who has Cerebral palsy has problems moving his or her muscles, this is not because there is something wrong with the muscles or nerves. These difficulties are caused because of problems in the brain. The child might have had an injury to the brain, or had a brain that did not develop properly. These problems can affect the way the brain controls movement and posture.
Simply stated, “cerebral” refers to the brain, and “palsy” refers to muscle weakness/poor control. Although the brain itself will not get worse, people who have cerebral palsy will usually change over time. Sometimes they will get better, and some patients will stay the same. Occasionally they will get worse, usually because of contracture of the joints or changes in the muscle tone.
There is currently no cure for cerebral palsy, however there are different treatment options for people who have cerebral palsy. These options include therapy, medications, surgery, education and support. By taking advantage of one or more of these options, people with cerebral palsy can learn to improve their function and the quality of their lives.
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